THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The independent stand being taken by MP Shashi Tharoor on various issues, the latest being his refusal to oppose the SilverLine project openly and his praise for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is causing heartburns in the Congress.
Though party state president and MP K Sudhakaran and other senior leaders tried to pass his comments on SilverLine off by describing Tharoor as a “global citizen”, fellow MPs and other leaders are not happy. Tharoor reiterated his stand on SilverLine and Pinarayi in an article published in a vernacular daily on Monday.
The brewing discontent among other leaders became palpable on Monday when Palakkad MP V K Sreekandan raised the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s single-day attendance during the winter session of Parliament even as Tharoor was speaking strongly in the Lok Sabha against the bill on linking the electoral rolls with Aadhaar.
A senior Congress MP told TNIE that this showed the intolerance of his party colleagues towards Tharoor whose stand on various issues has been at variance with the party’s position.
“None of us are aware why Tharoor is taking a pro-Pinarayi stand when he has always taken a strong stand against BJP. Tharoor is aware of his vote bank comprising youth, intellectuals and women and does not always toe the party line. The national Congress leadership has never disapproved of his stand unlike their reaction to two other G-23 leaders, Kapil Sibal and Ghulam Nabi Azad,” said a senior Congress MP.
However, Tharoor remained unperturbed as he maintained that he was not endorsing the SilverLine project, but rather had only sought more time to study the matter before arriving at a conclusion. “There are significant questions like the social impact relating to the displacement of local communities, environmental implications and also how the government will address the economic concerns relating to the project financing, economic burden on the taxpayers and the cost to the commuters,” wrote Tharoor in his article.
Reacting to this, the Congress state committee’s public policy head, J S Adoor, took a dig at Tharoor’s style of functioning. In a FB post on Monday, he criticised the MP’s lack of interest in listening to those who had worked hard during his election campaigning.