The Congress party acted quickly after Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar made an appearance on a banner raised to welcome Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra in Ernakulam caused it great shame.
The party suspended the man -- Suresh, INTUC, Nedumbassery area president -- who was responsible for the gaffe. However, damage had been done as video and images of Savarkar on the Congress banner soon went viral.
Hours later, a tearful Suresh told Manorama News what had happened. According to him, it was an oversight on his part, which was supplemented, partly by Google and an ignorant press worker.
"The banner was 88 feet long. I was held up with other work and the guy at the press searched the internet for freedom fighters and selected the 20 photos that showed up. I couldn't proof the content, and he didn't know who Savarkar was," said Suresh.
He said the printing was completed overnight and he was tying up the long banner when Anwar Sadath MLA rang him up. "Someone was filming, and I think the MLA might have seen it. Only then did I know there was Savarkar's image on the banner. I covered it with an image of Mahatma Gandhi immediately. But we took down the whole banner soon."
Suresh said he was disappointed to have let his party down. "I should have been careful. It was my mistake, I take responsibility."