Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday dared party leadership in Kerala by kicking off his ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India) campaign on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram.
Taking up Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India challenge Tharoor joined locals in cleaning Vizhinjam port.
“Vizhinjam is a splendid beach. We will not allow it to become a dumping yard,” he said adding he would see that his initiative is followed up.
Tharoor was removed from the party spokesperson’s post two weeks ago after he accepted Modi’s challenge and thanked him for making him a part of the nationwide campaign.
The Congress leaders in Kerala had complained to the party high command saying Tharoor's praise of Modi demoralised party workers who worked against the BJP.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi’s words that sanitation was more important than independence he said cleanliness and development were not part of any ideology or colour.
“It is a national programme. The present dispensation has only changed its label. No politics in such a programme,” he said.
Though many Congress workers and local leaders were present during Tharoor's cleanliness drive, none of the senior leaders attended.
Watch:Shashi Tharoor takes part in PM Modi's cleanliness drive
Modi appreciates Tharoor
Meanwhile, Modi appreciated Tharoor for actively participating in 'Swachh Bharat' campaign, saying his effort is "very encouraging".
"A great effort by @ShashiTharoor! His active participation in Swachh Bharat Mission is very encouraging," Modi tweeted.
He also re-tweeted the photographs showing Tharoor leading a group of people in clearing garbage at one place in Vizhinjam in Kerala.