Under Attack, Tharoor Explains Modi Praise

In a letter to AICC communication department chief Ajay Maken, he makes it clear that he is committed to the organisation and principles of secularism

Published: 07th June 2014 09:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2014 09:19 AM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: Under attack from Congress leaders such as Mani Shankar Aiyar and Digvijaya Singh, former Union minister and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday wrote to the party explaining why he had praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a letter to Ajay Maken, AICC communication department head, Tharoor made it clear that he stood committed to the principles of the Congress. This is, perhaps, to scotch speculation that he may be jumping the sinking boat.

“By praising him (Modi) for specific things, we help frame public expectation of his continued behaviour and raise the bar against which we will judge him in future,” is what Tharoor said in the letter. But he also said that praise where it was deserved “gives us (in the Congress) a track record of gregariousness now-all the better to attack him strongly when he reveals his true self or policies with which we disagree”. Tharoor also argued in the letter that “credibility of attack will be far greater if we been generous (in praise) when it seemed to be warranted.”

Tharoor’s letter comes against the backdrop of strong criticism from Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar who called him “immature” and attacked his “chameleon-like” behaviour. Aiyar said on Thursday that he  was “deeply disappointed”

that an “intelligent” man like Tharoor should want to rush to judgement in this manner. Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh advised Tharoor, who had written an article for a US news website in which he said Modi was looking to turn himself from a “hate figure into an avatar of modernity and progress”, not to jump to conclusions.

The Congress also distanced itself from Tharoor’s praise of Modi and said they were his personal views. Party sources said the leadership feels the matter should be put to rest now that he has made an explanation.


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