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Shashi Tharoor sacked as Congress spokesperson


New Delhi, Oct 13 :

The Congress Monday removed Shashi Tharoor as one of its spokesperson for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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

Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor

The action was taken after the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) submitted a complaint to the disciplinary committee of the party.

The three-member disciplinary action committee of AICC comprised Motilal Vora, A.K. Antony and Sushilkumar Shinde.

Tharoor, Lok Sabha member from Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala, had been criticised by party colleagues for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He was also one of the nine people nominated by Modi for his Clean India Campaign challenge, which he accepted to the displeasure of many in the party.

According to sources, a report of the Kerala unit held that Tharoor’s statements about Modi had hurt party workers, who worked for his victory in Thiruvananthapuram.

Since Tharoor is an AICC member, the state unit of the party could not take action against him and a decision had to be taken by the national leadership.

Tharoor, who was a union minister in the erstwhile Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, was also dragged into a controversy recently when a leaked post-mortem report of his wife Sunanda Pushkar stated “poisoning” as the cause of her death.

Pushkar was found dead amid mysterious circumstances in a hotel room in Delhi Jan 17.

Accept decision as a loyal party worker: Tharoor

Sacked as Congress spokesperson, Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor Monday said he accepted the decision as a “loyal party worker”.
In his statement, the Thiruvananthapuram MP also clarified that he will not make any more comments on the matter and treat it as “closed”.

“I have seen the press release issued by the AICC and, as a loyal worker of the Congress party, accept the decision of the party president to relieve me of my responsibilities as a spokesman,” he said.

He said he has not yet seen the complaint of the party’s Kerala unit against him, following which he was sacked.

“While I have not yet seen the KPCC (Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee) complaint referred to, and while I would have welcomed an opportunity to respond to it and draw the attention of the AICC leadership to the full range of my statements and writings on contemporary political issues, I am now treating this matter as closed and have no further comment to make,” he said.

The former union minister added that he is in politics to “serve the people” and will continue to do so.

“I am in politics to serve the people of India, and my constituency, Thiruvananthapuram, through my service to the Congress party. This I have always done with utmost sincerity and commitment and I will continue to do so.”

“Whatever responsibilities the party has entrusted to me, I have fulfilled without reservation, and I fully recognize it is the prerogative of the party to alter these responsibilities.”

Tharoor was Monday sacked from the post of Congress spokesperson, a statement from the party said here.