Praising Modi costs Congress spokesman his job

By S Venkat Narayan

Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, October 13: India’s opposition Congress Party today sacked its MP Shashi Tharoor as one of its spokespersons days after the UN diplomat-turned-politician praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat (Clean India) mission.

“Congress President Sonia Gandhi has accepted recommendation of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) disciplinary committee to remove Shashi Tharoor from the list of spokespersons of the AICC with immediate effect,” the party said.

Tharoor reacted immediately after his sacking. “As a loyal worker of the Congress, I accept the decision of the party president to relieve me of my responsibility as a Spokesman,” he told NDTV.

Praising Modi’s initiative, Tharoor had earlier agreed to be a brand ambassador for the campaign.

Earlier, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) had expressed its displeasure over  Tharoor’s support to Modi’s Swachh Bharat mission.

Tharoor represents Thiruvananthapuram in the Lok Sabha.

IDIOTSThe KPCC president VM Sudheeran said that Tharoor’s statements hurt the sentiments of party workers in the state.

“When he was nominated as a candidate, the KPCC whole heartedly welcomed it, and we worked very hard for him. It is because of the hard work of Congress workers and the Congress supporting mass that he has won by a big margin. He is not supposed to make such statements which hurt the party workers’ sentiments. He should abide by their sentiments,” Sudheeran said.

“Kerala is the only state which rejected the BJP and Shashi Tharoor fought BJP in a neck to neck fight. He was able to win because of the hard work of the party members. He has to realize that he is representing the Congress Party,” he added.

Sudheeran said the KPCC has also sent a report to the Congress high command in this matter, but refused to divulge the contents of the report citing it as an internal matter of the party.

Modi had invited nine persons, including Tharoor, to join the Swachh Bharat campaign, which was launched on October 2.

Tharoor had responded positively to the Prime Minister’s invitation to join the campaign and had said that he was honoured to accept the invitation to join the ‘Clean India campaign’.

Tharoor was a union minister in the erstwhile Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.