Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has been sacked as the spokesperson of the All India Congress Committee after the party leadership accepted the complaint against him by the Congress disciplinary committee. Congress President Sonia Gandhi approved the decision, according to a press release on Monday.
The Kerala Congress unit had taken objection to Tharoor's decision to participate in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat campaign after the latter had named him as one of the individuals to begin the campaign.
Tharoor issued a statement soon after the press release came out, stating that he "accepted" the decision of the party.
"I am a loyal party worker and I accept the party president's decision. I would have welcomed an opportunity to respond to the Kerala Congress unit's complaint," he said in his official statement which he shared on his Twitter and facebook account.
The Kerala Congress had sent a report to the All India Congress Committee leadership demanding action against Tharoor for "hurting sentiments of party workers".
Tharoor, who had been nominated by Modi for the 'Swachh Bharat' Challenge on 2 October, had accepted the challenge and promised to act on it.
Honoured to accept the invitation of PM @narendramodi to join Clean India campaign. Just landed in Bucharest &heard d news. Action on return
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 2, 2014
However, after facing backlash from party insiders over his praise of Modi, he said in a series of tweets that he was not 'pro-BJP'.
"Astonished by charges I'm proBJP. My 30-year paper trail of published writings=my idea of India&my profound belief in India's pluralism, " he had tweeted. "Being receptive to specific statements or actions of BJP leaders does not remotely imply acceptance of the party's core Hindutva agenda. Such comments ignore my extensive criticisms of BJP government, which are all a matter of record and which far outweigh positive points," he had said.
However, some reports have also claimed that latest developments in Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar's death case may have influenced the decision. As per the final postmortem report by the All India Insitute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Pushkar died of poisoning and did not suffer from ailments as had been claimed by Tharoor.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said on Monday that the move by Congress was taken to distance itself from Tharoor.
A three-member committee, comprising senior leaders Motilal Vora, AK Antony and Sushilkumar Shinde, made the decision to sack Tharoor as the spokesperson, according to reports.