A controversy broke out on Tuesday as Kerala legislators found the name of state BJP chief figured prominently on the foundation stone of a road project here and protested. The BJP however dismissed the issue as trivial.
The foundation stone was for the the inauguration of work commencement on a four-decade-old National Highway project in the capital city outskirts and the chief guest was Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Legislators from the rival fronts (Congress-led UDF and CPI-M led LDF) protested to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the venue after they saw the name of Kerala BJP president V.Muraleedharan above the names of legislators on the foundation stone.
Incidentally the BJP is yet to open its account in the 140-member state assembly.
"I have raised this glaring breach of protocol issue with Assembly Speaker N.Sakthan, who in turn will bring this to the attention of the Lok Sabha speaker as the official who did this is an official of the central government," said Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) legislator V.Sivankutty.
Congress legislator M.A.Waheed said Muraleedharan is only the state Bharatiya Janata Party president and under no circumstances is his position above the legislators in the state.
State BJP spokesperson V.V.Rajesh dismissed the issue and said people should work for the development of the state and not get caught in trivial issues like this.
Reacting to the controversy, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday sought to put the ball in the NHAI's court.
"When legislators raised the matter at the venue on Tuesday, I checked out and was told that all arrangements for the inaugural function were made by National Highways Authority of India officials," Chandy told the media here.
The chief minister said the state Congress leadership never indulged in such things during the 10 years the Congress-led UPA government was in power at the Centre.