“The souls of some great personages have already decided where their statue should be. O.V. Vijayan’s statue has landed at the place it most deserves to be in,” said Minister for Cultural Affairs A.K. Balan at Thasrak near here on Saturday.
Mr. Balan garlanded the statue installed at the O.V. Vijayan Memorial at Thasrak after it was removed from SBI Junction in Palakkad town.
The removal of the statue by an organisation of residents named Palakkad Munnottu had courted a controversy when some sections objected to it.
The OV Vijayan Memorial Committee officials said here on Saturday that they would not allow anyone to take the statue away from Thasrak.
“We did not go and beg for it. They brought it to us and offered it to us. We accepted it, giving utmost respect to the writer. And we installed it at the right place in the right position. And there’s no taking it away,” said O.V. Vijayan Memorial Committee chairman T.K. Narayanadas and secretary T.R. Ajayan.
Minister for Water Resources K. Krishnankutty also garlanded the statue and said that it reached the right place.
Mr. Balan, rallying behind Mr. Narayanadas and Mr. Ajayan, said that recognition would definitely come for those who deserve.
Palakkad Municipality, meanwhile, put its foot down by erecting a board at SBI Junction where Vijayan’s statue had stood. The board read that the place belonged to the municipality and that it had complete authority over the plot.
Giving a political colour to the controversy over the statue, Municipal Chairperson Prameela Sasidharan, vice chairman C. Krishnakumar, and other BJP councillors V. Natesan, M. Sunila, C. Madhu and Subhash led the installation of the board.
The Palakkad Munnottu members said that it had been in charge of the maintenance of the plot for the past 15 years. None had claimed ownership of the land in that period, they said.
The Municipal officials said that they would decide whether to reinstall the statue or not after convening a council meeting.