Days after United Democratic Front MP NK Premachandran had lunch with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Parliament House canteen, the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist criticised the leader while Congress and the Revolutionary Socialist Party came in support and made it clear that there was nothing wrong in accepting the invitation extended by the Prime Minister.
Premachandran is a leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, an ally of the Congress-led UDF Opposition in the southern state.
Earlier, CPI-M leadership came down heavily against NK Premachandran for accepting the PM's invitation to have lunch with him in the Parliament House canteen on February 9 and alleged that it was a "newfound closeness" with the RSS.
Left Democratic Front convener EP Jayarajan said that RSP's Premachandran is part of the UDF alliance and what was the need and meaning of having lunch with PM Modi.
"RSP's Premachandran is part of the UDF alliance. He is one among the eight people whom PM Narendra Modi invited for lunch. What is the meaning of this? What is the understanding and connection between BJP and UDF? He did not invite Shashi Tharoor. If the orientation of Lok Sabha is important then the first person to be invited from UDF is Shashi Tharoor. What is the meaning of this invitation?" he added.
Meanwhile, the Congress and RSP whole-heartedly backed the Kollam MP.
Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said the Marxist party was deliberately creating controversies as they had nothing else to say.
In Thiruvananthapuram, senior Congress Leader and MP K Muraleedharan also extended support to the Kollam MP and said if he received a similar invitation from the PMO, he would also have accepted it.
"What is controversial in it? CM called me for a virtual meeting to talk about the Centre and I joined the meeting. Or if the CM is calling me to his office, should I not go as Leader of Opposition? Should I say no I won't Come? The party is deliberately creating controversies," he added.
Meanwhile, Minister of State V Muraleedharan said that NK Premachandran to have lunch with the Prime Minister.
"If the CM can invite for iftar and Christmas why can't the PM invite MPs for a lunch? What is wrong with that? I don't understand what mistake did PM Modi commit. Whether it's 8 or 80, everyone has the authority and freedom," he added.
While Premachandran justified his accepting the invitation from the PMO saying it was a friendly meeting beyond politics, senior CPI(M).
"If I am invited for lunch, it's against my culture to deny it. What I have to ask you is, when CM invited the opposition for a Christian feast based on what culture did the opposition not participate?
Biju Janata Dal leader Sasmit Patra, RSP leader NK Premachandran, Telugu Desam Party's K Ram Mohan Naidu, Bahujan Samaj Party's Ritesh Pandey and some Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Union Minister L Murugan and Heena Gavit, were with PM Modi as they had lunch together at the Parliament House canteen on February 9.