New Delhi: The Congress party on Monday said that the removal of Shashi Tharoor as official spokesperson had nothing to do with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.
Addressing the media here, party spokesperson Shobha Ozha said, “For last two months the statements being issued by Tharoor had upset the Congress workers. The Kerala Congress had sent a report to the Centre. The matter went to the disciplinary committee and the Congress president acted on the recommendations of the committee.”
She clarified that the “removal of the MP from Kerala as party spokesperson had nothing to do with Sunanda's death.”
“He is Congress leader. He will remain the chairman of the External Affairs Standing Committee of Parliament,” she added.
On the 'Clean India Campaign' launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 02, Ozha said, “If someone is trying to prove that on this one issue one is now walking on the path Mahatama Gandhi then that is false.” “What about facilitating the alleged accused in the UP riots,” she asked.
She also pointed out that the Clean India Campaign was nothing but a re-packaged version of Congress-led UPA government's 'Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan'.
“Modi is just a good event manager and crores have been spent on the campaign. Infact they are re-launching all UPA's programmes,” Ozha said.
The Congress today removed Tharoor as party spokesperson for his praise of PM Modi. This was something that had not go down well with the Kerala unit of the party.
"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 organization Janardan Dwivedi in a press release, as per PTI.
KPCC had prepared a report against Tharoor, which was referred to AICC's disciplinary action committee a few days ago.
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.
The complaint by the Kerala Congress Committee had come at a time when Tharoor had accepted the invite by the PM to be a brand ambassador of 'Swachch Bharat' mission of the NDA government.
Tharoor had also gone to the US during the time the PM 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.
With PTI inputs