BJP Kerala unit president Kummanam Rajasekharan's ride with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the launch of the Kochi Metro today triggered a controversy, with a state minister alleging it was a "security breach."
In a Facebook post, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the "security lapses" which occurred in the Prime Minister's official programme should be investigated.
He questioned the logic behind allowing Rajasekharan, who is not even a panchayat ward member, to travel with Modi.
Surendran said this happened when even local MLA P T Thomas was not allowed to share stage with the Prime Minister for the inaugural function.
Rajasekharan was seen seated next to Governor P Sathasivam when Modi, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu in their maiden ride.
Hitting back at Surendran, BJP state General Secretary K Surendran said it was the Prime Minister's Office which had included Rajasekharan in the journey.
"The PMO takes decision on matters like who will attend the Prime Minister's function and the state minister need not worry about his protection," he said.
The BJP leader said in a Facebook post that the Special Protection Group is there to provide security for the Prime Minister and the minister's intervention is not required.
Reacting to the issue, Rajasekharan said he was allowed to travel with the Prime Minister by the SPG and the state police.
"If Surendran had any objections, he should have taken up the matter with the chief minister as he was witness to everything," he said.