THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Following the intervention by the Congress high command, MP Shashi Tharoor seems to have toned down his stand on the SilverLine project. After sticking to the stand that more information regarding the project needs to be perused before taking a stand on the project for several days, Tharoor on Tuesday said he was waiting to get the Centre’s perspective on the project.
“But, GOI seems to think ignorance is bliss. Concerns expressed on a project of such immense importance need to be addressed through transparent and consultative deliberations with all stakeholders,” Tharoor tweeted on Tuesday evening, with the copy of a vague answer given by the Union railway minister to a question on land acquisition and compensation for SilverLine in the Lok Sabha.
It is learnt that the Congress central leadership has taken note of Tharoor’s dissenting voice and directed him to toe the party line when the state Congress unit has taken the project as a major campaign issue against the second Pinarayi Vijayan government.
The party state leadership is awaiting Tharoor’s reply to the explanation sought by president K Sudhakaran. With the winter session of Parliament concluding on Thursday, Tharoor is expected to return to Thiruvananthapuram the next day. He is likely to meet Sudhakaran in person and submit his explanation.
Earlier in the day, Kasaragod MP Rajmohan Unnithan unleashed a scathing attack on Tharoor. Unnithan’s outburst gave enough hints to Tharoor as the former is known to be close to party national general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal.
Unnithan told TNIE that when BJP and CPM were baying for his blood at one point of time, it was the Congress that helped Tharoor tide over the crisis. “The Congress high command has taken note of Tharoor’s stand seriously. Tharoor is unlikely to get a party ticket in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, but that will not be because of his development agenda, but due to his role in the G-23 grouping. Tharoor does not have any connection with the Congress or its supporters in Thiruvananthapuram. So, if he endorses Chief Minister Pinarayi, he might gain eventually,” said Unnithan.
Party state working president Kodikunnil Suresh told TNIE that due to the “global citizen” stature of Tharoor, he follows a Western outlook when it comes to development issues. “Tharoor will have to tone down his anti-party stand on the SilverLine project as he has realised the public outcry against it. “Currently, the state cannot afford to have the project implemented when it is expected to displace several thousands of people and leave them homeless. This has left Tharoor in two minds now,” said Kodikunnil.