Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who landed in a controversy recently for “praising” Narendra Modi, said the prime minister deserves respect when he visits foreign countries as he represents India on the global platform.
“The prime minister deserves respect in foreign countries as (there) he is a representative of our nation. But when he is in India, we have the right to ask him questions,” Tharoor said, speaking at a session organised by the All India Professional Congress in Pune.
Quoting a media report that spoke about protests planned in the US ahead of PM Modi’s visit, Tharoor had tweeted, “As an Opposition MP i have the right to criticise @narendramodi ’s policies, statements, actions & inaction, & expose his failures. But when he goes abroad, he is @PMOIndia & he carries my flag. I want him to be received & treated w/ the respect due to my country’s prime minister.”
Last month, the Congress leader faced flak from within his party when he had said that the prime minister should be appreciated “whenever he says or does the right thing”. Upset with Tharoor’s remark, Kerala unit chief Mullappally Ramachandran wrote a letter to the Thiruvananthapuram MP saying that the workers are “deeply distressed and agitated” by his remarks.
“Give me an example, which statements I have supported. The problem is media reports are completely unfounded. Frankly, it irritates me greatly whenever media talks about ‘Tharoor’s praise for Modi’,” Tharoor told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by NSUI at Delhi University.
During the event in Pune, Tharoor also took a attacked the saffron party for sparking a debate on imposing Hindi as a common language in the country. “We need to carry on the three-language formula,” he said, adding that BJP’s ideology of promoting Hindi, Hinduism and Hindustan is “dangerous” for our country.
The BJP’s idea of Hinduism is a “political ideology” and does not have any connection with Hinduism, the Congress leader said.
He also criticised the ruling BJP over incidents of mob lynching, saying they are an “insult to Hinduism and Lord Ram”.