New Delhi: Congress today reacted sharply to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy being asked to keep out of a function to unveil the statue of former Chief Minister R Sankar in Kollam by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and alleged that it was an attempt by the BJP to misappropriate another Congress icon.
Calling it a “disgraceful and petty insult” to an elected Chief Minister, AICC Communication department in-charge Randeep Surjewala alleged that this is a phenomenon that has now become “characteristic and typical of the ruling BJP’s style of politics”.
A controversy had erupted yesterday over the decision of SNDP, an organisation of backward Ezhava community, to exclude Chandy from attending the function on Tuesday.
Chandy in a press note had stated that he was “deeply saddened” over keeping away from the function following a request of Vellappally Natesan, organiser of the event.
R Sankar was also Kerala Pradesh Congress committee (KPCC) President.
“It was incidentally the Chief Minister who invited Prime Minister Modi in the first instance, on the request of Vellapally Natesan General Secretary, Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam to unveil the statue,” Surjewala claimed.
He said that it is not only a “transgression” of protocol, but also that of cooperative federalism that is constantly “trumpeted” by the Prime Minister and his colleagues.
“The BJP has become a serial offender in almost all the opposition-ruled state’s in humiliating democratically elected chief ministers. Be it the then Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda who was heckled by BJP workers in presence of the PM, Nitish Kumar or Vir Bhadra Singh, the incidents seem to follow a pre-designed plot.
“The attempt in Kerela is aimed at misappropriating another Congress Icon/leader of the yore. This Modi/BJP model emanates from a desire to cover the legacy crisis of the RSS/BJP and the extended parivar. Now it is Congress icon R Sankar’s, earlier it was Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Lal Bahdur Shastri, with the sole aim of legitimising their communal agenda,” Surjewala said.
He said that the “gloves are now out.”
“The claws of the PMO, RSS, and the BJP, itching to communally surcharge the forthcoming Assembly elections in Kerela are starkly visible. This will be fought staunchly by the Congress Party in Kerela as also elsewhere,” Surjewala said.