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Tharoor not to attend CPIM seminar, regrets public airing of 'internal differences'

Tharoor not to attend CPIM seminar, regrets public airing of internal differences

New Delhi: Congress leadership on Monday put its foot down asking Shashi Tharoor not to attend a seminar arranged on the sidelines of CPIM national conference next month in Kannur.

After Kerala leadership's ban earlier yesterday, author Tharoor and KV Thomas separately said that they would consult the matter with Sonia Gandhi.

Hours after the drama unfolded Shashi Tharoor declined the CPIM's invite to the seminar. The senior leader is reported to have consulted with Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Later in a statement the Thiruvanathapuram MP expressed regret over public airing of internal differences, thus creating a needles controversy in a matter in which AICC's view was binding.

Tharoor still held the ground that the topic of the seminar didn't involve any matter sensitive in Kerala. It was on 'Centre-state relations' over which there was no difference of opinion between both parties. He expressed respect for the party president's views while conveying the organisers of the seminar his inability to attend it.

He had been invited to another seminar as part of the CPIM state conference a month before and a suitable decision was taken after consulting with the AICC President, he said.

Sources say that the new situation emerged after Tharoor attended a meeting of Congress 'rebels' which irked many leaders. Meanwhile, Congress leaders from Kerala earlier reportedly met Sonia Gandhi to intimate her of the "embarrassing" development.

Congress' Kerala state chief K. Sudhakaran earlier warned that those violating the party's ban on attending CPIM sponsored seminar would face action.

The CPI-M's 23rd party Congress will take place in Kannur from April 6 to April 10, and the national seminar will be held on the sidelines of it.

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