Opinion » Columns » Siddharth Varadarajan

Updated: June 11, 2010 15:19 IST

Tharoor’s IPL googly is hat-trick for Manmohan

Siddharth Varadarajan
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Whatever the facts of the dispute between Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi, this is the third time that a controversy surrounding the junior foreign minister has threatened to overshadow the Prime Minister during an important overseas visit.

Halfway through Manmohan Singh’s ongoing visit to the U.S. and Brazil for the Nuclear Security, BRIC and IBSA summits, the media back home has already turned its attention to Mr. Tharoor, much to the irritation of the traveling delegation.

On Tuesday night, TV channels devoted virtually all their time to the Tharoor-IPL issue, tuning out of what the Prime Minister had to say in Washington.

In February this year, Mr. Tharoor’s on-the-record comments to Indian reporters during an informal dinner hosted by the Indian ambassador in Riyadh triggered a controversy over his use of the word‘interlocutor’. Though PMO officials agree that the media erred in alleging that he had called for Saudi ‘mediation’ with Pakistan, they say the junior minister invited the controversy upon himself and that he should not have spoken to the press in the first place during the Prime Minister's visit.

Last September, part of the Prime Minister’s press conference during the India-Asean summit was spent in firefighting after Mr. Tharoor’s tweets about traveling in ‘cattle-class’ triggered a political controversy back home.

There is nothing going in favour of Shashi Tharoor's political career as at present. A politician will always be in the public eye and his present image therein is not quite pretty.He will be well advised to resign from the government and spend some time ruminating over whatever has happened since his entry into Indian politics which has marred his image.Being an intelligent and erudite person, he may succeed in achieving the required course correction in his political life.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Apr 14, 2010 at 05:36 IST
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