Thiruvananthapuram: The antipathy towards Shashi Tharoor in the Congress' Kerala unit is not new and dates back to 2009 when he was suddenly selected to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Thiruvananthapuram, but recently, the tirades against the diplomat-turned-politician have sharply increased.
This comes in the wake of his supporting handing over the Thiruvananthapuram airport to the Adani Group, even as his party has vehemently opposed the decision, and intensified as he was one of the 23 signatories to a letter calling for reforms in the Congress.
The latest one to slam Tharoor was fellow MP Kodikunnil Suresh, who on Friday termed him "a guest artiste".
"Tharoor is not a politician. He is yet to understand on how to carry on party and parliamentary politics by being within the framework of Congress guidelines. He is one who often jumps the gun. Tharoor came into the Congress as a guest artiste and continues to be the same," Suresh told the media mere.
Yet another MP K. Muraleedharan made a veiled attack on him.
"Tharoor is a global personality, while I am a simple person and hence I am not commenting on him," was Muraleedharan's jibe.
State Congress President Muallapally Ramachandran has time and again expressed his displeasure in the way Tharoor conducts himself and has said he has to express himself in the party forums only. He also noted that since Covid broke out, Tharoor has been based in Delhi.
On Friday, Ramachandran told the media that as far as he is concerned, the Tharoor issue is a closed chapter for him.
"As a disciplined party worker, I will not make any statement," he said, adding that he does not wish to complicate any issue, as it would affect the party.
But batting for Tharoor was senior Congress legislator P.T. Thomas who said just because he wrote a letter, it should not be taken against him, and called him a "jewel".
"The stand of the Congress party in Kerala on issues will be said by the state President. Tharoor is a jewel for the Congress party," he said.
Tharoor is now in his third term as the member from the prestigious Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat.
Way back in 2009, when a dozen leaders from the state capital in Delhi trying to get the party nomination, Tharoor who was not at all in the reckoning, shocked all by being made the candidate. A senior Congress leader had then said: "We were all waiting for a few days to meet the high command and suddenly came this man (Tharoor), who flew down from the US, met the high command and got the seat."