Thiruvananthapuram: In an embarrassment to the ruling Congress-led UDF in Kerala, government Chief Whip PC George on Sunday inaugurated `Run for Unity`, a campaign sponsored by BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to mark the death anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
George, a nominee of KC-M, second largest partner in the UDF and also a constituent of UPA at the Centre, even waved a T-shirt with pictures of Modi on the front and back during the flag-off function at Kottayam. He came to the inaugural venue with a BJP shawl.
George, however, said there was no political agenda behind his participation in the campaign.
"I will join any programme which is organised in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel by any organisation as Patel is a person whom I adore most," he said.
Not only that, in Kerala, the function was being led by a committee headed by Justice K T Thomas, retired Supreme Court Judge, he pointed out.
George has always been a sheer critic of the policies of the UDF government. His party recently directed him not to make any controversial statement against the Front.
Attacking George for attending a programme organised by BJP, KPCC spokesperson Pandalam Sudhakaran asked UDF to remove George from the post of Chief Whip.
KC-M chief and state Finance Minister K M Mani said he did not want to make any comment on the matter now.
"Our party will discuss the issue and react on it," he said.
BJP National spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi, who took part in the campaign here, told reporters there was nothing wrong in George`s participation and the programme has no political agenda. Prominent personalities from various walks of life took part, she said.
"The campaign is a brainchild of Modi. Patel has not been remembered or his contributions recognised in the country as he deserved," she said. The `Statue of Unity` is a befitting tribute to Patel to immortalise his valuable contributions to the nation, she said.
Sivagiri Math Secretary Guru Prasad flagged off the run here and Olympian K M Beenamol was among the prominent personalities who participated.
More than 30,000 people from different walks of life took part in the run held at 14 centres in Kerala.
The objective of the programme was to observe the 63rd death anniversary of Patel and promote the `Statue of Unity`, world`s tallest statue with a height of 182 meters, to be built on the banks of river Narmada in Gujarat.