Thiruvanathapuram: Incensed by Shashi Tharoor's pro-Modi stand the Congress party today sacked him from the post of official spokesperson of the party.
The disciplinary action committee of Congress took this extreme step after the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) submitted a report to the high command seeking action against the Thiruvanathapuram MP.
“Congress President Sonia Gandhi has accepted the recommendation of the AICC disciplinary committee to remove Shashi Tharoor from the list of spokespersons of the AICC with immediate effect.
“The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee had submitted a complaint in this regard to the disciplinary committee,” said party general secretary organisation Janardan Dwivedi in a press release.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Shashi Tharoor has said that he fully accepts the decision of the party.
"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," Tharoor said in the statement.
Reacting to his sacking, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Congress spokesperson must speak on the lines of the party. They must speak for the party, not for themselves or for their personal benefit”.
Shashi Tharoor has been criticized for repeatedly praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accepting his invitation to participate in Swachh Bharat campaign.
The complaint was reviewed by the three-member disciplinary action committee of AICC, comprising leaders Motilal Vora, A K Antony and Sushilkumar Shinde.
The state unit first sends a complaint to the AICC general secretary in-charge of the state or directly to the disciplinary action committee.
A few days back, KPCC vice president M M Hassan had said, "As a first step, we are asking him to stop praising Modi as his stance went totally against the Congress's ideals."
KPCC president V M Sudheeran said praises lavished on Modi repeatedly by Tharoor had hurt Congress and UDF workers who worked sincerely and tirelessly for his victory in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency for a second time.
Soon after Modi invited him to join the Clean India campaign, Tharoor tweeted he was 'honoured to accept the invitation of PM @narendramodi to join Clean India campaign'.
Tharoor had also applauded Modi's maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) giving him an ‘A' for his articulation, clarity and crispness.
The report of the Kerala unit had held that Tharoor's adulatory statements about Modi had hurt Congress workers in Kerala, who had worked sincerely and tirelessly for his victory from Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat. Tharoor had earlier reacted sarcastically to the Kerala unit's move, saying this would mean the state leadership would finally read what he actually wrote instead of oral summaries. The complaint by the Kerala Congress Committee had come at a time when Tharoor had accepted the invite by the Prime Minister to be a brand ambassador of “Swachch Bharat” mission of the NDA government.
Tharoor had also gone to the US during the time the Prime Minister was in that country and had appeared on various television channels. Party sources say that nobody was assigned from Congress to the US during Modi's visit and speak on the party's behalf.
Tharoor has not been briefing media at the AICC from June 4 after his piece in Huffington Post praising Modi kicked up a big row in Congress.
The Congress leader had said that it would be “churlish” if his party did not take note of Modi's efforts to sound gracious and accommodative and reinvent himself from a “hate figure into an avatar of modernity and progress”. Congress had snubbed him immediately, describing it as his “personal view”. Since then Tharoor did not brief the media from AICC podium.