Chandy invite row reaches Parliament: LS adjourned after protests
Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned for a brief while Monday amid vociferous protests by Congress and AAP members, including over the issue of Kerala chief minister Oomen Chandy being reportedly asked not to attend a Prime Minister’s function.india Updated: Dec 15, 2015 00:49 IST
The row over chief minister Oommen Chandy not being invited to a function attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kerala led to protests in Parliament on Monday.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi alleged that Modi had insulted the people of Kerala by “stopping” the CM from attending a function and the principal Opposition party raised the issue in both Houses of Parliament before staging a walk-out in the Lok Sabha. Outside the House, Gandhi led party MPs’ protests over different issues including the Kerala controversy.
The Congress secured the support of the Trinamool and Left parties, whose members also walked out of the Lok Sabha. Defending the PMO in the row, home minister Rajnath Singh said neither the PM nor the Centre had anything to do with the organisers’ decision to not invite Chandy. Junior minister for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy read a letter in the Lok Sabha in which Chandy had expressed his inability to attend the function.
A decision by the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), an organisation of the backward Ezhava community, to exclude Chandy from attending the unveiling of a statue of former chief minister R Sankar’s by the PM on December 15 triggered the row, with the Congress calling the action as “pettiness of the worst kind”.
The Prime Minister is currently on a two-day visit to Kerala.
“The CM is the voice of the people. He represents the people of Kerala… This is unacceptable,” Gandhi said in the Parliament House complex. Refuting his allegations, parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu said, “It seems they are now inventing some reasons to stall the House.”
SNDP leader Vellapally Natesan took responsibility for the decision. “There has been no pressure from the BJP or anyone else to prevent the CM from attending the function,” Natesan said in Kollam.
Chandy, who received Modi at the airport, later said the organisers asked him to skip the function. “A letter was sent after I was told not to attend the function where the PM is participating,” he said.