THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Nearly two weeks after controversy erupted over Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan’s presence at the inaugural function of a workshop owned by gold smuggling case accused Sandeep Nair, CPI leader and Nedumangad MLA C Divakaran on Sunday said the Speaker could have avoided the event.
Divakaran said though he was invited to the function, he had refused to attend it because he was unfamiliar with its organisers. As the MLA of the constituency, he was supposed to preside over the function. “If the Speaker had contacted me before, I would have asked him not to attend the event. It is a small shop. There was no need for high-profile people like him to take part in the event,” the CPI leader said. Stating he had called the Speaker after the issue became a controversy, he added that this was however not a political issue.
Meanwhile, Sreeramakrishnan refuted the allegation that he had attended the function during an assembly session. “I went to the venue only after the session was dispersed,” he said. The Speaker was reportedly invited by Swapna Suresh, one of the key accused in the case, to inaugurate the shop named ‘Carbon Doctor’. Hours after the involvement of Swapna and Sandeep in the case came to light, a video clip of him inaugurating the shop went viral. He later informed the media that by accepting the invitation, he was just giving her the respect he would have given to any diplomat. She had insisted that he inaugurate her friend Sandeep’s ‘startup’, he said.