For Modi praise, Aiyar calls Tharoor ‘immature’

Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday slammed party spokesperson Shashi Tharoor for his effusive praise of prime minister Narendra Modi, calling his party colleague ‘immature’ and a ‘chameleon’.

Aiyar also said he was ‘deeply disappointed’ that an ‘intelligent’ man like Tharoor should want to rush to judgement in this manner and come out with this effusive remarks. ‘This kind of chameleon like praising just after a few days (after Modi coming to power) is uncalled for. It demonstrates great immaturity,’ Aiyar told a television news channel.

In a surprise praise for Modi, Tharoor had on Wednesday said from the AICC podium that the opposition would be ‘churlish’ in ignoring the voices of inclusive outreach of the new Prime Minister. The former Union minister had also held that the ‘accommodative and inclusive language should be welcomed and it would be churlish to ignore that’.

‘This kind of chameloon politics is utterly undesirable,’ Aiyar said, adding,’ I am very very sad that he should have created this controversy at this stage.’ Aiyar said it is his job as a member of the Opposition to keep ‘red alert’ on a man whose past record does not inspire confidence in him. Earlier in the day, the Congress distanced itself from party spokesperson Shashi Tharoor’s effusive praise of prime minister Narendra Modi but he made it clear he was not his fan.

‘The views expressed by Shashi Tharoor about Modi and the government are his personal views. As a party, it is too early for us to express these views. It is too early to comment on the functioning of the government,’ party spokesperson Shobha Oza told reporters.

Her comments came in response to a barrage of questions a day after Tharoor’s praise appeared in a US news website in which he had among other things remarked that Modi was looking to turn himself from a ‘hate figure into an avatar of modernity and progress’.

On his part, Tharoor told a TV channel that he cannot be called a fan of Modi. ‘No, afraid you can’t. I have been intrigued by the fact that the paraphrases of my piece I have seen in the Indian media looks like people don’t actually read every word and every nuance,’ he said when asked if he could be called a ‘Modi fan’ now after his piece in the website.

Tharoor said his piece very clearly explains that for a dozen years the Congress party had good reasons to criticise him very severely for the 2002 riots.
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