No invite for Guv, 3 former CMs for Kerala Day function

CPI-M led LDF government in Kerala courted controversy for not inviting the Governor and three former chief ministers for the 60th year celebrations of Kerala formation day held at the Assembly complex here on Tuesday.

Governor P Sathasivam, former chief minister and CPI(M) veteran V S Achuthanandan and two former Congress chief ministers A K Antony and Oommen Chandy kept away from the function to mark the year-long diamond jubilee celebrations.

However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who inaugurated the celebrations clarified that the Governor was not invited due to "protocol" issues. In his opening remark at the function, he said the government had not "forgotten" the Governor as stated in some quarters.   

"It is due to protocol issues that a collective decision was taken on the matter," he said.

When contacted, Achuthanandan's office sources said the Marxist veteran did not attend the function as he was not invited.

"There is nothing more in it. The leader also has not made any protest or expressed discontentment over the issue," the sources said. Achuthanandan had addressed the special Assembly session held to mark the day and later left for his residence.

Meanwhile, taking exception over the ruling Left's attitude, KPCC President V M Sudheeran said the government had shown disrespect to former chief ministers by not allowing them to attend the function. Antony came from Delhi to attend the function after the Chief Minister invited him over telephone. But his name was not mentioned in the programme card, he stated.

Oommen Chandy was also not invited, Sudheeran said.

Giving reasons for omitting the Governor, Vijayan said "If the Governor was invited, only a limited number of people could have been accommodated on stage. But as you can see now, there are more than 60 persons from various fields who are on stage." 

Year-long programmes have been lined up as part of the celebrations and a function "more attractive" would be held later, in which the Governor would be invited, he said.
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