V D Satheesan, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Kerala State Assembly, on Tuesday, came out in support of Shashi Tharoor saying that the MP is now convinced about the concerns raised by the party-led UDF about Silver Line Rail Corridor project.
Tharoor was earlier sent a strong warning by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) over his contradictory stand on the LDF government’s multi-crore mammoth initiative.
Satheesan said Tharoor, on Monday, gave a reply to a letter which he had sent to him, attaching the study report prepared by the United Democratic Front (UDF) about the project, and also detailing the concerns raised by them regarding the same.
“In the letter, he said the questions raised by the UDF are relevant and this was the same which he also wanted to ask. Tharoor also made it clear that he has never taken a supportive stand for the project,” the LoP said.
The party has the responsibility to convince a person in a matter, if he says that he does not understand it and the letter was sent for that purpose, he said.
“There was no point in saying that Tharoor adopted a contradictory opinion about the Silver Line,” Sateesan said adding that as a Congress MP, Tharoor can no longer take a different position, but can only stand along with the UDF.
However, former KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran continued to criticise Tharoor, for his reported supportive stand for the mega infrastructure project, and his frequent praise for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
He said the Indian National Congress was an organisation which has always upheld party discipline.
The former union minister also reminded Tharoor that his position as an MP was the result of relentless hard work by hundreds of Congress activists, and so he should not forget his party and its cadres while giving his opinion.
“Tharoor is a Member of Parliament and a respected leader. So, it is the All India Congress Committee which should take action in this matter. It is inevitable for the AICC to intervene in the issue and take steps to restrain him,” Ramachandran said.
Discontent has been brewing in the state unit of Congress for some time against Tharoor’s reluctance to sign a letter prepared by the MPs from the party-led UDF to the Centre, against the state government’s semi-high speed rail corridor and his recent open praise of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for his “investment-friendly” initiatives.
Responding to criticism by his party colleagues, Tharoor had tweeted that on some issues it is necessary to put political differences aside.
He had also said that he would reveal his opinion on the Silver Line project after studying it.
K Sudhakaran on Sunday said that no one, including Tharoor, in the party has the authority to oppose its directions, and warned the latter that he will be removed from the party if he does not fall in line with its decisions.
“Shashi Tharoor is only a single man in the party. One Shashi Tharoor is not the Congress. If he falls in line with the party decision, he will remain a part of it and if not, then he will be out,” he had said.