Cowards targeting me, Tharoor tells Sonia

Last Updated 01 August 2015, 18:26 IST

An anguished Shashi Tharoor has written a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi saying he was being targeted by “conspirators and cowards” in the party.

Tharoor is learnt to have shot off the letter to Gandhi on July 23, the day reports in the media suggested that he was “scolded” by the Congress president for leaking internal deliberations of the party.

He also told Gandhi in no uncertain terms that he had “served the party’s interests with sincerity” and has often felt that the same has “neither been seen nor appreciated”.

“I am dismayed, indeed distressed, by our exchange at the morning meeting. If you have read the press leaks in today’s papers, it is obvious that they were maliciously aimed at me, seeking to portray me as an isolated figure in the party,” he said in the letter.

On July 21, Tharoor had told a strategy meeting of Congress that he was against disrupting Parliamentary business and that the party should instead participate in debates and put on record the opposition to the government actions.

The deliberations were reported widely the next day, prompting Gandhi to “scold” Tharoor in the presence of party colleagues. “Your comments this morning were based on the assumption that I was responsible for the leaks. Why on earth would I have spoken to the media to undermine myself and my standing within the party?” Tharoor wondered in the letter.

He also made his displeasure with Gandhi known saying it was obvious that “some people” had managed to “persuade” her that he has been speaking to the media against the interests of the party.

Tharoor said he suspected an “agenda” of those responsible for the leaks and cited various reports, particularly in the Malayalam media to back his claims.  He said he felt it was important to clear the air on the matter and he believed that the internal meeting was a forum for members to express their views freely.

“I agree with Rahul that the fact that the party entertains differing views does not in itself harm us, what does us damage is the sly attempt by some to portray them as evidence of something they are not – dissidence or disloyalty,” he said.
Tharoor, who was recently praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said he hoped that there was no misunderstanding of either his conduct or intentions. Tharoor refused to confirm or deny the letter.

(Published 01 August 2015, 18:26 IST)

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