"He Can Explain": Congress Deflects Row Over Shashi Tharoor's Map Blunder, He Apologises

Congress communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh responds to BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya's jibe at Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra'

'He Can Explain': Congress Deflects Row Over Shashi Tharoor's Map Blunder, He Apologises

Jairam Ramesh, Congress communications in-charge, calls it "an egregious error". (File)

New Delhi:

The Congress distanced itself from Shashi Tharoor having used a wrong map of India in his manifesto for the party president poll. Mr Tharoor later apologised and issued corrected versions, saying "no one does such a thing on purpose".

Before the apology, party communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh called the wrong map — parts of Jammu and Kahsmir, and Ladakh, were missing — an "egregious error", putting the onus of explanation on Mr Tharoor and his team. He was responding to a tweet by BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya that juxtaposed Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' (Unite India March) with Mr Tharoor's alleged "dismembering" of the country.

"The 'I Troll Cell' (IT Cell) of the BJP will look for any flimsy excuse to target and tarnish the Bharat Jodo Yatra and Rahul Gandhi," Jairam Ramesh said in his tweet.

Mr Tharoor said in a tweet about an hour after it: "A small team of volunteers made a mistake. We rectified it immediately and I apologise unconditionally for the error."

The main opponent of Gandhi-backed Mallikarjun Kharge for the party chiefship, Shashi Tharoor was among 23 leaders who'd written to interim chief Sonia Gandhi seeking reforms in the party and its leadership system. He has, however, stressed that he's not a candidate of the 'G-23', some of whose members have left the party while some have backed Mr Kharge.

Mr Tharoor, a former union minister who faced a map-in-booklet row in 2019 too, filed his nomination papers today and issued the manifesto, besides a video on Twitter, where he has more than 80 lakh followers.

Voting is on October 17, and results two days later, in the first Congress chief polls in over 20 years without a Gandhi in the contest.

Rahul Gandhi, who held the post between 2017 and 2019 before quitting after a drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls, has denied requests to contest, in an apparent hope that having a non-Gandhi chief will help the party counter the nepotism charge.


Jairam Ramesh with Rahul Gandhi and others at a press briefing during the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra'. (File)

He remains the party's preeminent face, though, evident from his leading the Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir Yatra.