Under attack from within, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday wrote to the party explaining his >praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi making it clear that he stood committed to the organisation and the principles of secularism.
In a letter to Ajay Maken, chairman of the AICC communication department, he has said “by praising him (Mr. Modi) for specific things, we help frame public expectation of his continued behaviour and raise the bar against which we will judge him in future”.
Mr. Tharoor’s letter comes against the backdrop of strong criticism from Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar. Mr. Aiyar had said on he was “deeply disappointed” that an “intelligent” man like Mr. Tharoor should want to rush to judgement in this manner and come out with this effusive remarks.
Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Friday advised Mr. Tharoor, who had written an article in an American news website in which he had said Mr. Modi was looking to turn himself from a “hate figure into an avatar of modernity and progress”, not to jump to conclusions.
The >Congress had on Thursday distanced itself from Mr. Tharoor’s praise of Mr. Modi and said they were his personal views.
Party sources on Friday said that the party feels the matter should be put to rest now with Mr. Tharoor’s explanation.
“Our credibility as attacker will be far greater if we have been gracious when it seems to be warranted,” Mr. Tharoor said adding it would be all the better to attack him when he reveals his true face.
“We can attack him on actions and policies with which we disagree,” he said.
On Thursday, Mr. Tharoor said he was not a “Modi fan” and that his party would robustly attack him if he reverts to “Modi 1.0 avatar”.