Thiruvananthapuram: With controversy brewing over Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy being asked to keep out of a function to be attended by the Prime Minister at Kollam, SNDP leader Vellapally Natesan on Monday took responsibility for the decision.
Natesan, who heads Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), an outfit of the backward Ezhava Community, which is organising the unveiling of the statue of former Chief Minister R Sankar at Kollam tomorrow by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today said it was he who was responsible for deletion of Chandy's name from the function and not the BJP leadership, as was being alleged.
"There has been no pressure from the BJP or anyone else to prevent the Chief Minister from attending the function", Natesan said at Kollam.
The Congress in Kerala has already made it clear that they would observe a prayer gathering in front the statue of Sankar here tomorrow when Modi unveils the statue of the SNDP leader at SN College in Kollam as a mark of protest.
Chandy will be receiving the Prime Minister at Kochi today and is likely to inform him about his exclusion from the Kollam function.
Chandy in a press note had earlier stated that he was "deeply saddened" for being kept away from the function following a request of Vellappally Natesan.
He had said that though he should have been present at the function being attended by the PM and also because Sankar was a former CM and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee chief, he was forced to take the decision to stay away, following the organiser's request.
Since the recently held civic polls, SNDP had been warming upto the saffron party which has so far not succeeded in winning a single seat either in the Assembly or Parliament. With assembly polls due next year, the BJP is hoping to break the jinx this time by a possible tie up with the SNDP, which has recently floated a party-- Bharath Dharma Jana Sena - aiming to bring various Hindu outfits under one platform.