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Updated: April 21, 2010 00:07 IST

I don't want to be an embarrassment: Tharoor

J. Balaji
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Mr. Tharoor said his resignation would strengthen the hands of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues to go deeper into the relevant issues. File Photo: PTI
The Hindu
Mr. Tharoor said his resignation would strengthen the hands of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues to go deeper into the relevant issues. File Photo: PTI

The former Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor, on Tuesday said his decision to quit the Cabinet was “in the high moral traditions of our democratic system and in keeping with the standards” all would wish to uphold in the nation's public life.

“Today marks a new beginning for me,” he added.

The Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram — who resigned on Sunday night following the Indian Premier League Kochi franchise controversy — told the Lok Sabha that he had “no desire to be an embarrassment” to the government, and believed that his departure at this stage would allow Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Cabinet colleagues to focus on the great challenges facing the nation.

Mr. Tharoor said he was deeply wounded by the “fanciful and malicious charges” against him and had requested Dr. Singh to thoroughly probe them.

“I have led an unblemished life of personal integrity and probity, and it is important to me that my name is cleared,” he said.

Reiterating that his “conscience is clear,” Mr. Tharoor said he had “done nothing improper or unethical, let alone illegal.”

The former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, who kept getting caught in one controversy or the other since the UPA-II government assumed office last year, said he was new to Indian politics but had a long record of public service, “unblemished by the slightest taint of financial irregularity.”

He said that after his long stint abroad, he returned to India because he believed in “an India of honesty and hard work, not of corruption and malfeasance…an India of openness and straightforwardness, not of hypocrisy and double-dealing.”

Some Opposition members booed him and made sarcastic remarks when Speaker Meira Kumar called Mr. Tharoor to make a statement under rule 199 to explain his reasons for quitting, but began listening to him along with the Treasury benches when he started reading.

Notably, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were absent in the House.

Clad in a white kurta-dhoti with a Congress brand angavasthram around his neck, Mr. Tharoor quoted Malayalam poet Vallathol: “When you hear the name of India, your heart must swell with pride; when you hear the name of Kerala, the blood must throb in your veins.” Mr. Tharoor said: “My heart swells with pride for India, and Keralite blood throbs in my veins.”

He said Kerala was a trailblazer for India's progress. “Its ethos, with cultural unity amidst religious diversity, high educational standards and respect for democracy, commitment to the empowerment of women and the well-being of the poor, embody the best of India.”

Mr. Tharoor paid rich encomiums to Dr. Singh and Ms. Gandhi, saying that they were “two of the finest public servants our country has ever had,” and that “the country is in good hands.”

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The people who are making comments as if they KNOW Tharoor is corrupt are insulting the legal process of our country. Let's use our brains. Tharoor is smart enough to have hidden his tracks well if he wanted to be corrupt. As if some hustler like Modi would be able to out a smart man like Tharoor, if indeed he was doing some shady deal. In India, we love to smear everything and bring it down to our gutter level, where we are most comfortable.

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Apr 25, 2010 at 19:30 IST

I could be wrong, but I don't think a person like Tharoor would have done this for some petty money or power. It is good that he has requested PM to carry out a formal investigation. Let us see what comes out of it before judging him.

from:  Aravind Parakulankara
Posted on: Apr 22, 2010 at 14:25 IST

Is it like the Congress never supported Jagdish Tytler? Shibu Soren was a minister in the first UPA government. Didn't these people taint the image of the party?

from:  Arun Valsala Narayanan
Posted on: Apr 22, 2010 at 08:43 IST

I don't think Tharoor is corrupt, because had he wanted to make money, he could have stayed in America and could have taken any job. If Tharoor had to resign based on allegations that have not been proved, what about Tytler? Congress should explain.

from:  Arun Valsala Narayanan
Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 at 17:27 IST

Yes... now that you are out, probably it's a good start to clean out others also.

from:  paramu
Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 at 10:26 IST

I have lost my confidence in Congress.

from:  jimmy
Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 at 09:44 IST

You have already been an embarrassment! The fact that you don't realise this shows just how unsuited Tharoor is for any kind of responsible post

from:  brinda
Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 at 08:52 IST

He made such a dignified speech in the Lok Sabha that even his critics were seen on TV giving rapt attention to it. Hope he will be careful in future about what he says and does and will avoid creating controversies.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 at 05:28 IST

His statement in parliament shows what a wonderful genius Shashi Tharoor is! Definitely he will come back with full power. Best of luck.

from:  Soby Daniel Mathew
Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 at 02:35 IST
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