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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Thiruvananthapuram, September 12, 2013
A TV show host's 'compliment' to vice president Hamid Ansari at a function in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday made the audiences cringe in embarrassment, prompting the country's second highest office to seek an explanation from Kerala government.

"Though Ansari was born on April 1, World Fools Day, he's an intellectual," said popular TV personality GS Pradeep. He repeated the line thrice during the function where minister of state for HRD Shashi Tharoor was awarded by a religious organisation, Sree Narayana Dharma Samiti.

Pradeep, an actor in popular Malayalam live show Malayalee House, a replica of Big Boss, was roped in at the eleventh hour to anchor the function. The organisers were probably betting on his fame, but the move misfired badly.

Pradeep tried hard to impress the audience, but his "witticisms" ended up embarrassing all.

"His Manglish also added to trouble. We were wondering why he brought up the VP's birthday to impress people," said a participant.

To top it all, the organisers had arranged no one to render the national anthem. Usually, the national anthem is sung at the end of a programme attended by the Vice President.

Realising the mistake, the organisers quickly assembled a chorus to sing the anthem, but had to cut it short when the singers made a mess of it as they didn't remember the full lyrics.

The vice president's office has taken a strong note of the protocol violations and goof ups during the function and sought an explanation from the Kerala chief secretary.

Normally, a list of participants who sit on the dais and speak is forwarded to the VVIP office for clearance. And enough rehearsals are carried out to avoid last-minute glitches. But it seems no protocol was followed in this case.

"It should not have been happened. The chief secretary has sought a report from protocol officer and general administration department," said Kerala culture minister KC Joseph.