New Delhi: Striking a different note from Congress, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday disapproved of Wharton cancelling invite to Narendra Modi, saying the institution had a duty to hear the Gujarat Chief Minister after inviting him.
Tharoor, however, caveated his response by saying that he was not speaking on behalf of his party or the government but expressing his "personal view" when pointed out that Congress leaders have been saying otherwise about the incident.
The minister also said that he was invited to deliver the keynote address six-seven weeks ago but declined it due to his Parliamentary commitments and suggested that Wharton approach someone else who does not have Parliamentary priorities.
"Perhaps that is why they went to a Chief Minister, I don`t know," Tharoor said recalling that he had addressed Wharton India Economic Forum four years back and since then was being invited for the same every year but could not go thereafter.
"Infact, I disagree profusely with Modi at every level but I think it is far better to debate his record and views rather than to try and suppress his voice by disinviting him....Once they had invited him, they had a duty to hear his point of view," Tharoor told a TV channel.
He said that the hosts should have instead asked from Modi questions including the uncomfortable ones and should have challenged some issues in arguments. "That is what makes for a stimulating debate. On an university campus, that is what the entire process should be all about," he said.
The Union Minister at the same time said that the conference is organized by students and perhaps they cancelled it as they felt that they cannot cope with the "trouble" and the "controversy" surrounding their invite to Modi.
"I do not think that it was a considered decision and I suspect that they are regretting both their decisions to invite Modi as also their decision to disinvite him," Tharoor, who is also the Minister of State for HRD,said.