On Wednesday, after visiting a fish market, Tharoor had tweeted, “found a lot of enthusiasm at the fish market even for a squeamishly vegetarian MP”. He had posted a few photographs at the fish market, one of them showing Tharoor holding a fish covered with paper to avoid direct contact with the fish.
Finding fault with the word “squeamish’’, BJP candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan demanded that Tharoor withdraw the comment, which he claimed insults fisherfolk. The BJP leader said, “Tharoor has found that fishermen and fish are disgusting. Thousands of fishermen in Thiruvananthapuram are living in nauseating circumstances – they are living in such a situation due to Tharoor’s failure, as he could do little for them. Tharoor should say whether the votes of fishermen are also causing him nausea.”
The CPI(M)-led LDF joined the issue, accusing Tharoor of insulting fishermen, who had saved thousands of people during last year’s flood in the state. LDF’s election committee chairman M Vijayakumar said the Congress leader’s comments “expose his approach towards the working class”.
“A civilised society cannot accept this undemocratic approach. There should be strong protest against Tharoor for having insulted fishermen, Vijayakumar said. The CPI(M) announced a march by fisherfolk in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday to protest against Tharoor for allegedly insulting the community.
As people started looking up the meaning of squeamish, and protested on social media, Tharoor tweeted – “for those Malayali leftist politicians who are currently having difficulty understanding my English’’ – and posted the meaning of the world in Malayalam.