Kollam: With controversy looming large over exclusion of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy from the statue unveiling function of R Sankar by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, the family of the former chief minister has decided to keep away from the event.
Sankar, who was the Chief Minister during 1962-64, had headed the Kerala PCC and the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Sangam (SNDP), an organisation of the backward Ezhava community in the state, which is organising the statue unveiling function.
Mohan Sankar, chairman of Kerala State Backward Classes Development Corporation, said he was "pained" that efforts were being made to portray his father as an "RSS man".
Protesting against the exclusion of Chandy from the function, he said he and his sister will not attend the function, adding, "some black hands and vested interests have worked to ensure that Chandy was excluded from the function".
42-years after his death, Sankar's statue was being unveiled in the SN College founded by him. However, Mohan Sankar said he was pained that a needless controversy had been created.
"First inviting a person and then asking him not to attend the function was showing disrespect to the person, Sankar, who is President of Kollam SNDP unit, said.
Chandy had earlier stated that he was "deeply saddened" at being kept away from the function following a request of SNDP leader 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.