New Delhi: The Kerala unit of the Congress appears to have won its battle against Shashi Tharoor as the party high command, Monday, decided to remove the Thriuvanathapuram MP from the post of party spokesperson.
"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,” said party general secretary organisation Janardan Dwivedi in a press release.
"The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee had submitted a complaint in this regard to the disciplinary committee," Dwivedi said.
Motilal Vora, A K Antony and Sushilkumar Shinde are members of the three-member AICC disciplinary committee.
The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) had wanted action against Tharoor for his praise of Narendra Modi and accepting the PM's invite to him to participate in 'Swachh Bharat' campaign.
KPCC president VM Sudheeran said praises lavished on Modi repeatedly by Tharoor had hurt Congress and UDF workers who worked for his victory in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency for a second time.
Reacting to the development, Sudheeran said, “It is the right decision, I welcome it.”
Tharoor has also reacted to his removal from the party post. Tharoor said as a loyal worker of the Congress I accept the Congress president's decision.
Earlier, when the KPCC had taken up the matter with Congress high command, Tharoor had reacted sarcastically to the move saying this would mean the state leadership would finally read what he actually wrote instead of oral summaries.
Tharoor had also consistently rejected suggestions that he was moving closer to the BJP by asserting that he was a "proud Congressman" and never endorsed the "Hindutva agenda" of the BJP.
Party general secretary Digvijay Singh had supported Tharoor and said that he saw “nothing wrong” in the Kerala MP’s actions.
“I see nothing wrong in Shashi Tharoor accepting to be Brand Ambassador for Swachhta Abhiyan. It is Congress Party programme adopted by Modi,” Singh had said on Twitter.
Taking a dig at the Congress, BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said, “It's Congress' policy but its unfortunate, sad that it wouldn't accept someone who wants to do good work.”