Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor came under fire in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday for his recent statement on India-Pakistan ties and for his expression of thoughts on the social networking site Twitter.

Senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said: “Too much tweeting will lead to quitting. Why is the Prime Minister silent on the issue? Mr. Tharoor needs to be guided by Dr. [Manmohan] Singh… he needs counselling from him.”

Pointing to Mr. Tharoor's statement that Saudi Arabia could be an interlocutor on India-Pakistan ties, Mr. Naidu said it seemed that the Minister had failed to understand the general philosophy of his government and his party (the Congress).

“Mr. Tharoor is expected to be more careful about his statements… and this was not the first or second time that he has made such controversial statements,” Mr. Naidu added.

Earlier, in her Zero Hour mention, BJP MP Najma Heptulla said that as per the Shimla Agreement, there was no scope for a third party mediation between India and Pakistan on bilateral issues.

“Mr. Tharoor thought that he was still working as a United Nations envoy and not a Minister. Such irresponsible statements may seriously sabotage the outcome of the Prime Minister's visit to Saudi Arabia,” she added.

Criticising Mr. Tharoor for his statements, Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party said the less the Minister spoke, the better it was for the country.

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