The Congress on Wednesday said the “unfortunate controversy” surrounding the former Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor was a closed chapter for the party.

“The Minister has resigned and addressed the Lok Sabha twice on the issue,” party spokesperson Manish Tewari told journalists here.

Ruling out the possibility of the Indian Premier League (IPL) controversy affecting its ties with the Nationalist Congress Party, Mr. Tewari said there was a “Chinese wall” between cricket and politics.

Putting at rest speculation that the row would cast its shadow on the Centre as well as Maharashtra, Goa and Meghalaya where the parties share power, Mr. Tewari's statement came a day after Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel accused some Congress leaders of launching a “slanderous campaign” about his involvement in the IPL controversy.

Pointing out that the Congress was more concerned about the BPL (below poverty line) issue than the IPL, Mr. Tewari said an inquiry was under way and if it yields something “incriminating,” the law would take its course.

“It would be inappropriate and improper to comment on the speculative reports that are coming in over the controversy.” Another senior Congress leader claimed that the controversy would in fact strengthen NCP's ties with the party. He said the Congress had nothing to do with the IPL issue, but if some members in their personal capacity had a role to play, the party could not be held responsible.

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