Thiruvananthapuram: Shashi Tharoor who quit as Minister of state for External Affairs in the wake of IPL controversy on Saturday insisted he has not done anything wrong and that he used his office only for the benefit of his constituency and state.
"I haven`t done anything wrong and nobody is going to believe the allegations hurled at me," Tharoor told party workers as he arrived here on his first visit to his Lok Sabha constituency after being caught in the IPL storm.
"I have used my office and personal influence only for the benefit of my constituency Thiruvananthapuram and the people of Kerala," Tharoor, whose exit came over the IPL Kochi franchise controversy, said.
Earlier, hundreds of Congress activists gave a roaring welcome to former minister of state for external affairs Shahshi Tharoor by waving cricket bats as he arrived in Thiruvananthapuram Saturday on his first visit to his home state after quitting over the IPL row.
But a smaller group of protesters allied to the Communist Party of India (CPI) held posters of the Congress MP and his friend Sunanda Pushkar, whose links to the Indian Premier League (IPL) Kochi franchise triggered the controversy that has turned into the country`s worst sports crisis.
But the police kept the two groups apart. Around 50 opposition activists were arrested.
It was the first time Tharoor, a former senior UN official, returned to Thiruvananthapuram, which he represents in the Lok Sabha, since resigning from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s government April 18. He has denied allegations of wrongdoing.
As his plane landed at about 12.50 pm, a huge crowd gave him a boisterous welcome.
Among those at the airport were party leaders from Thiruvananthapuram. As soon as he appeared before them, his supporters mobbed him amid frenzied slogan shouting.
He was presented a headgear made of jasmine flowers and driven in an open vehicle to the Congress office.
Before leaving the airport, Tharoor, who entered politics only last year, reiterated that he had done no wrong.
"I used my influence only to keep my word to the people of Kerala that I will do something for them. In that I have done no wrong," he said, referring to his admission that he was indeed the mentor of the IPL Kochi franchise.
As Congress workers sang his praises, members of the CPI`s youth wing waved his and his friend Pushkar`s posters. Banners carried by them read: "Should Kerala accept Tharoor`s behaviour?"
Similar posters were seen pasted in several parts of the Kerala capital.
With PTI & IANS inputs