Kasaragod: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan scolded the organisers and left a public function in a huff after the emcee of the ceremony allegedly interrupted him at the fag end of his speech.
Vijayan was the chief guest at the inauguration of the head office of the Bedadka Farmers' Service Cooperative Bank Limited at Kundamkuzhy in Kasargod on Saturday.
Towards the end of his inaugural speech, as soon as the Chief Minister said he was officially announcing the inauguration of the head office building, the audience started clapping.
Assuming that the chief minister had wrapped up his speech, the emcee started: "Next, distribution of mementos." Udma MLA and CPM's state committee member C H Kunhambu also walked up to the Chief Minister, who was still holding on to the lectern.
This irked Vijayan. "Before I concluded my speech... I think he cannot hear. This is not appropriate. He should start only after I end my speech," he said and left the dais.
To be fair to the emcee, Vijayan did say he wrapped up the speech. This is what he said: "I am concluding by announcing the inauguration of the cooperative bank's newly-built head office. Greetings to you all".
This is not the first time Vijayan lost his temper at the drop of a hat on stage. He threw a tantrum at the launch of the Kerala Real Estate Regulatory Authority (K-RERA) in Thiruvananthapuram on January 1, 2020. At the event, the emcee asked the guests to rise while the Chief Minister was lighting the lamp. He did not like it and turned to the audience and asked them to sit. He then angrily turned to the emcee and said such gestures were not necessary. But she did not take it lying down and shot back: "Why are you getting angry for that?"
Soon after the K-RERA event, seasoned emcee Sanitha Manohar took to Facebook to share her bad experience with the Chief Minister. "It was the third time the chief minister insulted female anchors, including myself," she wrote.
She said Vijayan cut her short during an event in Kozhikode by asking her to move aside. That event was held a year before the K-RERA event.
"He was rude when he took over the microphone and started speaking," she said. She said she put up a brave face because the event was organised to felicitate a person who dedicated his life to philanthropy.
On September 1, 2017, Vijayan had another public episode at the foundation stone laying ceremony for SunTec’s new campus at Technocity in Pallipuram.
He started fidgeting when the emcee kept inviting other guests on the dais to speak but not him. When his turn did not come even after the then MP A Sampath spoke, he walked up to the lectern and said he would walk out if the inaugural ceremony went on and on. "It is better I speak now. Else I would have to leave without speaking," he said, leaving the hosts squirming. "If I have to unveil the plaque, I can do that and begin my speech," he said. He wrapped up by wishing everyone Happy Onam and Bakrid.
On the incident at Kundamkuzhy on Saturday, the CPM's local leadership reportedly told the emcee that it was not his mistake. He was instructed to speed up because the Chief Minister reached the venue 25 minutes late and had four more events to attend in the district.
The Chief Minister, speaking at the next event at Panayal near Periya, took a dig at the media for blowing up the incident at Kundamkuzhy. "The media said I left the event after being upset. That is not true. If there is a mistake, it is my job to point it out and I did that. Tomorrow if the same thing happens, shouldn't I point it out," he said at the inauguration of the CPM's Panayal Local Committee office.
Vijayan said he wanted to wrap up his speech by saying greetings to all. "But the announcers started speaking. He was not listening and went on and on," he said.
But two things did not sit well. He was scheduled to give the mementoes but left without giving them. Two, there was no mistake on the part of the emcee who started speaking only after the Chief Minister said greetings to all.