Arguing that lakhs of Congress workers in Kerala are “deeply distressed and agitated” by party MP Shashi Tharoor’s remarks that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be praised “whenever he says or does the right thing”, the party’s Kerala unit chief Mullappally Ramachandran sought an explanation from the Thiruvananthapuram MP.
In a letter addressed to Tharoor, Ramachandran stated that his stand “does not auger well for the party”, even as the Lok Sabha MP defended his stance and urged “fellow Congressmen” to respect his stand.
The high command also expressed its disapproval of the remarks made by Tharoor, Jairam Ramesh and Abhishek Singhvi. At the party briefing on Tuesday, senior leader Anand Sharma said, “If the Opposition indulges in singing paeans (of the government), then it will spell doom for democracy.” He said the party’s Kerala unit has the right to make a statement and argued that it is not the Congress that is insulting the BJP leadership but the saffron party which has been demonising its leadership, including former Prime Ministers.
On Tuesday, Tharoor tweeted, “I’ve been a strong critic of the Modi government, & I hope a constructive one. My staunch defence of inclusive values and constitutional principles has won me 3 elections. I urge my fellow Congressmen to respect my approach even when they don’t agree with it.”
In his letter, Ramachandran stated, “It has been widely reported in the media that you have sought to justify Prime Minister Narendra Modi — in spite of the Congress stand to the contrary which was reiterated by the Congress president [Sonia Gandhi]…. India is facing the worst financial crisis after Independence and this has been declared by none other than the vice-chairman of NITI Aayog. The National Sample Survey Organisation has revealed that the country is witnessing acute unemployment — the worst in 45 years.
“It is needless to say that the Modi government has thoroughly failed on all fronts. Under the circumstances it is quite unfortunate that a person of your stature should attempt to justify Mr Modi.”
Asked about Ramesh and Tharoor’s remarks, Anand Sharma said Congress leaders have their views and opinion, unlike their counterparts in the BJP.
Ramachandran told The Indian Express that what Ramesh said was none of his business, but “Tharoor is an MP from Kerala, (and) as many as 10 MPs from Kerala have openly criticised him. Congress workers in the state are deeply distressed. Given that situation, it is my duty to seek an explanation from him.” with inputs from ENS, Thiruvananthapuram