Congress Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, has declined the invitation from Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPI-M) to their national seminar. He has done so after being ordered by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to skip the meet.
A political row had erupted in Kerala Congress after Tharoor accepted an invitation by CPI(M) to attend seminars during its 23rd Party Congress, scheduled to be held at Kannur in the state from April 6 to 10.
Tharoor and senior leader KV Thomas were among the leaders who were invited by the CPI(M) but Congress’ Kerala state president K Sudhakaran had instructed all party leaders to keep away from the events. This was opposed by Tharoor who took the matter to the interim Congress president. However, as per reports, Tharoor was ordered by Sonia Gandhi to stay away by the party head.
Reportedly, Sonia Gandhi talked to Shashi Tharoor today afternoon, and she made it clear that the Kerala MP has to follow the instructions of the party’s state unit.
Tweeting a typically verbose letter after being told off, Tharoor said that he had accepted the invitation since the event is a national one, and Congress has a cooperative relationship with the CPI (M) nationally.
He further stated that the topic for the seminar doesn’t involve any matter of sensitivity in Kerala but is on “center-state relations”, where there is no difference of opinion between CPI(M) and Congress.
While Congress and CPI(M) have remained opponents in Kerala, nationally, they have been following the same policies and agendas for past several years. However, in his letter, Tharoor accepts that he has to skip the event as per the wishes of Sonia Gandhi.
Shashi Tharoor firmly believes he should attend this seminar of CPI(M), as his letter indicates, looks like an order from Sonia Gandhi is still good enough to override all his genuine arguments in favor of attending this seminar.
Interestingly, Shashi Tharoor had also attended a meeting of the Congress rebels last week. However, looking at his submission to Sonia Gandhi’s order today, it will be several decades before Tharoor dares to openly revel against present Congress leadership.