Left lawmakers from Kerala Tuesday said they were upset at being left out from the official programmes here of President Pranab Mukherjee, now on his first official visit to the state.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Lok Sabha member A.Sampath, from Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram district, told reporters that he has already conveyed his dismay to Rashtrapati Bhavan at not being invited to any of the four official programmes of Mukherjee here.
"Besides me, there are three Rajya Sabha members who all have their residence in the capital city district. But we were not given an invite to the airport and for last night’s dinner. None of us got an invite to attend any of the four programmes of the president," Sampath said.
CPI-M's Rajya Sabha members T.N.Seema, K.N.Balagopal and the Communist Party of India's M.P.Achuthan too were nto invited for the president's official programmes, Sampath said.
"This is sheer callous approach and those in power are playing petty politics," he said.
Mukherjee’s first programme of the day was at the Senate Hall here where he inaugurated the Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam. Present on the occasion were local Congress legislators and local MP and new Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and a few of his cabinet colleagues.
"As per the protocol, we have to get an invite but for some strange reason we were left out,” Balagopal told reporters here.
Incidentally, Leader of Opposition V.S.Achuthanandan of the CPI-M, who was to have taken part in the first programme of the president, also did not turn up.
Last month also when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Kochi, Achuthanandan was absent from a few functions.