NEW DELHI: No surprise here: Prominent Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor was removed as party spokesperson on Monday. Tharoor’s “constant adulation’’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was too much for the Congress to digest and ignore. So a sack order.
The strong recommendation for ‘disciplinary action’ from the powerful Kerala unit of the party, in a way forced the Congress high command to take visible step against the “erring MP’’. A release from the party’s organisational general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, therefore, was expected.
The Congress sent a harsh notice that it would brook no deviation from the party line on PM Modi and his BJP, which swept to power in May after dislodging the UPA and is now believed to be sweeping the Maharashtra and Haryana polls.
Congress Kerala PCC chief V.M. Sudheeran had alleged that there were repeated instances of Tharoor being seen as appreciative Modi. "He has wounded the party spirit. We have to ensure that such remarks are not repeated," he remarked.
Honoured to accept the invitation of PM @narendramodi to join Clean India campaign. Just landed in Bucharest &heard d news. Action on return— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 2, 2014
Tharoor had rather upset his party by tweeting that he was "honoured" to be featured among nine prominent Indians tagged by the PM when he launched his ‘Clean India’ campaign on Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary. This is not the first time that Tharoor’s tweet has got him into trouble.
Tharoor’s own explanation was that his “criticism for Modi (much) outweighed the praise’’ and that he was being targeted by the Kerala lobby of the party for being an “outsider’’. But it did cut much ice.
Already, the mysterious circumstances in which Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a Delhi hotel has been causing the party much embarrassment, this seems to have given his party an opportunities to distance itself from the trouble prone MP. Admonition for being an admirer of the rival.
Reacting to the disciplinary action, Shashi Tharoor said he accepted the party decision as a loyal worker. He said it is the prerogative of the party to alter his responsiblities. In a facebook post, the Thiruvananthapuram MP also made it clear that he has no further comment to make over this.