THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had observed an undue vigil over knowing whether Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was attending the R Sankar statue unveiling ceremony in Kollam, Information and PRD Minister K C Joseph said on Wednesday. He told a news conference here that the chief minister had intimated the Prime Minister about the situation that forced him to stay away from the statue unveiling ceremony. The chief minister had also told the Prime Minister in the letter that he was keen to know Modi’s reaction if such an experience had occurred to him while he was serving as the chief minister of Gujarat.
Joseph said that it was on December 11 evening that Vellappally asked Excise Minister K Babu to tell the chief minister to keep away from the function as there was a chance of protest in case the chief minister attended the function.
On December 12, at 1.15 pm, Vellappally directly contacted the chief minister and requested him to cooperate by staying away from the function. But on the same day, the PMO contacted the CMO twice to know whether the chief minister was attending the ceremony.
He said there had been no IB report about any kind of protest against the chief minister.
Joseph said that the chief minister had handed over a letter to the Prime Minister, describing the situation that forced him to stay away from the function. He also distributed the copy of the letter.
The minister said that there was protest against the Prime Minister’s silence over the issue.
Asked whether he was expressing his own view or that of the government, Joseph said first that it was his personal view. But when asked whether the minister could claim it his personal view, he said he was asked by the chief minister to convene the press meet to tell the facts.
Asked why the chief minister did not attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Prime Minister if he had great regard for the Prime Minister, Joseph said it was not necessary for every chief minister to attend the swearing-in ceremony. On the query whether the Prime Minister had reservation about avoiding him from the stone-laying ceremony of the Vizhinjam port, Joseph said that the issue could not be considered along with the withdrawal of invite.
to the chief minister.
However, Joseph said they did not think that the decision to withdraw the invite to the chief minister was taken by Vellappally alone.