Why is no Kerala bigwig coming out in support of Tharoor?


In fact, the entire Kerala unit of the Congress, which congratulated Tharoor for bringing an Indian Premier League team to Kochi, has not come out openly to defend the beleaguered minister.

Tharoor, who was elected to the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabah seat, belongs to the upper caste Nair community. The Nair Service Society (NSS) has refused to back the minister on the issue.

NSS assistant secretary G. Sukumaran Nair said the community's stand on Tharoor has not changed. Sukumaran had mocked at Tharoor, calling him a "Delhi Nair" last year after he was appointed a union minister against the community's wishes. The NSS, traditional Congress supporters, were openly unhappy with Tharoor being chosen for the minister's post. They had been pushing for K.C. Venugopal, a former state minister, who was elected from the Alappuzha Lok Sabha constituency.

Tharoor had Friday clarified that he had not misused his official position and his  "mentoring" the Kerala consortium of the Kochi IPL franchise was "within the bounds of appropriate conduct". He had said "I am proud to have helped the consortium come to Kerala, a state which has long been excluded from participation in India's cricketing resurgence."

The opposition is demanding his resignation, accusing him of misusing his official position to help his friend Sunanda Pushkar get sweat equity worth Rs.70 crore in the IPL Kochi franchise.

However, a strong section in the state feels that the present controversy is "a conspiracy against Tharoor and Kerala".

A Congress MP from the state said no MP from the state is backing Tharoor, who has a global footprint, "because they are jealous of him".
K.S. Manu, head of Creative Content Hibiscus Digital Media, a company based in Thiruvananthapuram, told IANS: "The attack against Tharoor is a clear example of how competent political leaders are cornered. It is the Congress party which has to be vigilant, rather than take action against Tharoor."

He added: "The opposition's statements prove the malicious and unethical political practice prevailing in India today and it is very embarrassing that such a dynamic leader is drawn into controversies for protecting personal enmities and interests."

Eldo. M, a university student, said: "Tharoor, as a politician, should have spoken for the BPL (Below Poverty Line) section in the state, instead of bringing IPL to Kochi.
"It is of course a litmus test for the Congress, and not for Tharoor, whether political sidelining and mudslinging should be encouraged or not," said Aju Gopalakrishnan, a physical education teacher working in Malappuram district.

State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac slammed Tharoor, saying it would have been better if Tharoor had taken interest in getting  allotment of more rice for the state from the central pool than bringing an IPL team for Kerala.

"It would have been much better had Tharoor taken half the effort that he took to bring an IPL team to get more rice from the centre. He thinks he has done a great thing by getting an IPL team. What did he do to bargain for a package for the state in the wake of India signing the ASEAN trade pact," asked Isaac at a seminar.
On Wednesday, while the CPI-M politburo called for Tharoor's resignation, saying he must step down till his name is cleared of any impropriety in the IPL Kochi team, the local CPI-M leaders maintained silence aware of the huge excitement there was when Kerala got an IPL team.

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