Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress in Kerala on Tuesday decided to seek an explanation from Shashi Tharoor, MP, who has come under attack for his remark that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be praised for doing the right things, even as a defiant Tharoor stood by his comment.
Taking a strong view over Tharoor's remarks, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee chief Mullappally Ramachandran said several party leaders and workers have approached the leadership with complaints against Tharoor's "Modi praise."
As his remarks created a furore, Tharoor in a tweet said he has been a "strong critic" of the Modi government and wanted fellow Congressmen to respect his approach even when they do not agree with it.
"I've been a strong critic of the Modi government, & I hope a constructive one. My staunch defence of inclusive values & constitutional principles has won me 3 elections. I urge my fellow Congressmen to respect my approach even when they don't agree with it," the Thiruvananthapuram MP tweeted.
The former Union minister has been facing flak from party leaders in Kerala in the last few days for his "Modi praise."
Ramachandran said "Congress workers across the country have expressed extreme displeasure over the statement made by Tharoor. Party leaders have also approached me with written complaints.
Hence, KPCC has decided to seek explanation from Tharoor in this regard," he told reporters at Kannur as he waited to receive Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who is on a four-day visit of his Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, which had suffered massive devastation in the rains and landslides.
The state congress chief also said he was unaware of the circumstances in which the pro-Modi remarks had been made by Tharoor and the MP should explain what prompted him to change his earlier stand against the prime minister.
Ramachandran said he was trying to contact Tharoor, who is now abroad, and would convey the party leaders' and cadres' displeasure to him.
The KPCC would submit a report on the matter to AICC, which will take a final call, he said.
Tharoor had come under criticism from several senior party colleagues in the state for his comments that Modi should be praised for doing the right things but the Congress MP had remained unfazed, saying there was nothing wrong in his stand.
Besides Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, three MPs-- K Muraleedharan, Benny Behannan and T N Pratapan, have also hit out at Tharoor for his remark.
According to Muraleedharan those who want to praise Modi should join the BJP bandwagon, while Behannan said glorifying the Prime Minister was not the job of Congressmen.
"The Congress leadership should find out what is going on in the minds of those Congress leaders who become uncomfortable when Modi is criticised," Behannan said on Tuesday at Kochi.
Pratapan shot off a letter to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi stating his "disappointment" over some congress leaders statements praising the Prime Minister.
He also said "praising such fascist leaders would affect the Congress party's fight against fascism."
Ramesh Chennithala also had earlier said the "wrongdoings" of the Modi government cannot be "ignored.
Tharoor and his colleague Abhishek Singhvi had last week supported party leader Jairam Ramesh who has said not recognising Modi's work and "demonising" him all the time was not going to help.
Tharoor had on Sunday defended the remarks made by him, Singhvi and Jairam Ramesh.
"What Jairam Ramesh and Singhvi have said is not wrong. If Modi has done something good, we should acknowledge it. Otherwise we will lose credibility among the people.
If there is need, we should severely criticise him," he had told a Malayalam TV channel.
Former union minister Jairam Ramesh had recently said Modi's model was not a "complete negative story" and not recognising his work and demonising him all the time is not going to help.
"It is time we recognise Modi's work and what he did between 2014 and 2019 due to which he was voted back to power by over "30 per cent of the electorate," he had said on Wednesday.