Shashi Tharoor "Relieved" As Congress Row In Kerala On "Praising" PM Ends

The Congress in Kerala had sought an explanation from Shashi Tharoor for saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be "praised" for the things he did "right".

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Shashi Tharoor 'Relieved' As Congress Row In Kerala On 'Praising' PM Ends

Shashi Tharoor explained his statement to the Congress leadership in Kerala. (File)


Thiruvananthapuram: 

At the centre of a controversy for stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be praised for the "right things", Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said he was "relieved" the party accepted his explanation.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullapally Ramachandran is also learnt to have instructed party leaders to avoid speaking out over the controversy, news agency PTI reported.

"Yes, that controversy is over. There is no need for any more discussion (on this)," said Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala.

Mr Tharoor said he was "grateful" for those who supported him and he will not comment further on this episode.

Mr Tharoor had remarked on the performance of the Modi government after his party colleagues Jairam Ramesh and Abhishek Singhvi had expressed similar sentiments.

The three-time MP from Thiruvananthapuram thanked Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader and former minister M K Muneer and Muslim Youth League president Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal for their support.

Mr Muneer said that Mr Tharoor was not a Modi loyalist and cannot be pushed towards the "fascist" camp. In a tweet, Mr Munavvar said that the Congress leader had always taken a strong stand inside and outside parliament against PM Modi and his position had always been "loud and clear". "No conspiracies can down him," he said.

The former union minister had earned biting criticism from some leaders within his party for his statements seen as praising PM Modi following which Congress in Kerala had had sought an explanation from him.

With the country going through an economic and jobs crisis, defending the prime minister was unfortunate, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ramachandran had said.

On Wednesday, Mr Tharoor in his explanation emailed to the party said he had never justified PM Modi but in fact been a "strong critic" of the BJP government.

He said he wanted the Congress leadership in Kerala to examine his recent parliamentary debates and point out one other leader from the state who had made at least 10 per cent of his efforts to study, research and oppose the Modi government on every bill introduced.

The Congress leader said he had intervened more than 50 times in parliament and had spoken against 17 bills with "courage and conviction".

"Can any of my critics from Kerala say they have done so? Who on Earth can credibly accuse me of a 'volte-face' from the stand I took when I sat alongside you in the last Lok Sabha?"

Ramesh Chennithala and three MPs - K Muraleedharan, Benny Behannan and T N Pratapan - were among those who had criticised Mr Tharoor.



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