Thiruvananthapuram: In a fresh salvo targeting Shashi Tharoor, who had come under attack for his alleged ‘Modi praise’, party colleague K Muraleedharan made a veiled reference to the Thiruvananthapuram MP, saying not “Oxford English” but the INC-led UDF’s “anti-Modi” stand had helped them win the Thiruvananthapuram seat.
This comes days after the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) directed party leaders to stop making public statements after a controversy broke out over Tharoor’s statement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be praised for doing the “right things”. Without naming Tharoor, Muraleedharan said Congress leader and former MP, late A Charles, who did not know Oxford English, had won the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat three times.
“Even A Charles, who spoke good Malayalam, had won from the constituency three times. He had not won because of Oxford English. It was because Thiruvananthapuram has been a Congress bastion like Vadakara, which was generally considered a constituency in which the CPI(M) had an upper hand,” he told reporters. “But,” he said, “This time, Congress candidates had won both these seats because of the anti-Modi stance of the UDF,” adding that there was no change in his stand.
Addressing a press meet here, the senior leader, who represents the Vadakara constituency in Lok Sabha, said further, even if he had quit the Congress some time ago, he had never supported the BJP or sought its favour. Muraleedharan was apparently referring to Tharoor’s recent criticism against him that those who asked him to quit the party and join the BJP had rejoined the Congress barely eight years ago after leaving it and attacking it for years.
Muraleedharan also said the party had decided not to initiate any action against Tharoor based on his explanation. The former union minister had earned the wrath of some his party colleagues for his remarks that Modi should be praised for doing the “right things.”
Muraleedhran, son of former Chief Minister late K Karunakaran, was among senior Congress leaders who had severely criticised the former Union minister for his “Modi praise.” While Muraleedharan had said those who wanted to praise Modi should join BJP, another party MP Benny Behanan said glorifying the Prime Minister was not the job of Congressmen.
Opposition leader in the state Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala and TN Pratapan MP also came out against Tharoor, following which KPCC President, Mullappally Ramachandran had sought his explanation.
Tharoor in his email reply to the explanation sought by Ramachandran had stated that he had never justified the Prime Minister, but had in fact been a “strong critic” of the BJP government. The KPCC had accepted the explanation from the three-time MP and instructed Congress leaders to refrain from airing their views in public on the controversy.