Congress leader and MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor has clarified his earlier comments over Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he never justified him and has been one of the most comprehensive critics of the NDA government.
His comments come after the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) sought an explanation from the former Under Secretary of the United Nations over his remarks that PM Modi should be praised for doing the right things.
Replying to the KPCC President Mullappally Ramachandran, Tharoor emailed an explanation while asking the party leadership to point out any other leader from Kerala, who had made a tenth of the efforts he made in opposing the Modi government on every bill introduced against the spirit of the Constitution during Parliament session.
A day after the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) sought an explanation from Shashi Tharoor over his remarks, Tharoor said:
“I would urge you to look at Parliament debates of the recently-concluded eight-week session of the Lok Sabha and find me one leader from our state who has made 10 per cent of the effort I made to study, research, anticipate and oppose the Modi Government on every bill they sought to introduce against the spirit of our Constitution and the values of the Congress party.”
Tharoor said that he opposed the bills with “courage and conviction” while at the same time he asked how can someone “credibly accuse me of a ‘volte face’”.
“Modi has done little worth praising. But he has been effective in raising his vote percentage across India from 31 per cent in 2014 to 37 per cent in 2019, and as a party which stayed at around 19 per cent in both elections, we in the Congress need to make an effort to understand why.”
Pointing out that if the PM did nothing and still managed to get votes then in a way the party was implying that “people are stupid”. This, he said, is not an approach for winning votes.
Tharoor has been facing a lot of flak from the Congress party leaders over his earlier remarks supporting his party colleague and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh, who had stirred a controversy by saying that “demonising Modi all the time” was not an effective strategy.
For the furore against him, he said it was due to the “hysterical reactions to distorted reporting of a single tweet”. Tharoor, has since defended his words and had asked other Congressmen to “respect my approach”. He said this would add credibility to criticisms of the BJP government whenever they made mistakes.