Rahul lashes out at Modi for insulting Kerala people
Rahul Gandhi has accused Modi of insulting the people of Kerala on the issue of the state CM Oommen Chandy being dropped from an event. He said that that "the Chief Minister is the voice of the people of Kerala. This is simply not acceptable to us". Bringing this issue up in the parliament, the Congress party walked out in protest of the move.
Oomen Chandy, the Kerala Chief Minister unleashed a political turmoil after declaring that Vellapally Natesan, a BJP ally had asked him to "skip a statue unveiling that Prime Minister Modi will be attending". Sources claimed that the CM was invited to attend the event and later asked to 'stay away' from this function at Kollam. Congress blamed Natesan for being influenced by the BJP.
The Kerala CM tweeted saying, "It is not a personal insult. #Kerala was insulted when its CM was denied the right to participate in an event where the PM is attending".
Congress said that the CM being uninvited was a violation of protocol and they would raise the issue in Parliament. Congress's Communication Department Head said this move was an example of infringement of "cooperative federalism that is constantly trumpeted by the Prime Minister and his colleagues." He also highlighted that this had been repeated in other states such as Haryana, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh.
Defending Modi and proving that Rahul Gandhi's claims were untrue, Home Minister Rajnath broke his silence on this issue. Rajnath Singh dismissed Rahul Gandhi's accusation and said: "Who is invited or not, the prerogative is with the (organisers). They decided not to invite the Chief Minister. Our government does not want any confrontation with any state government."
While the Congress and BJP engaged in a war-of-words over CM Chandy controversy, PM Modi departed for his 2-day maiden visit to Kerala after becoming India's PM. The PM will first inaugurate the combined tri-services commanders conference at INS Vikramaditya. He will then unveil the statue of Kerala's former CM R Sankar, leader of the Ezhava community, who had also headed the SNDP party.