“Gandhi, who generally does not get angry, literally blasted Tharoor” sources said adding that the party chief was in no mood to listen to any explanation from him.
Her anger was directed at him over the fact that his opposition to disruption tactics at a strategy meeting made its way to the media.
There has been a sizeable section in the Congress, especially young MPs, who want the party to make the most of the situation caused by the Lalit Modi controversy and the Vyapam scam to put the government in the dock.
Reports quoting unnamed sources had it that at yesterday’s strategy committee meeting, Tharoor had expressed himself against “stalling tactics”.
He had said the disruption tactics u2014 a repeat of what the BJP did when it was in the opposition u2014 may not be effective. He had given three reasons for this. First, the strength of the Congress is just 44, while the BJP had 110-plus members when it was in the opposition during the last Lok Sabha.
Second, it is not clear whether the rest of the opposition will join the Congress, and it remains to be seen if the government can get them on its side. Third, Tharoor is learnt to have argued that the government will, in all likelihood, brazen out the opposition attack.
Tharoor had argued that the Congress should instead engage in discussion on all issues u2014 be it Vyapam or the Lalit Modi episode u2014 and use facts and figures to drive home its point.
Sonia’s reprimand of Tharoor came amid a belligerent Congress leaving no stone unturned to corner the Narendra Modi government over the various scams involving top BJP leaders. The Congress has been demanding the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh over Lalitgate and Vyapam.
This is not for the first time the Thiruvananthapuram MP has been caught on the wrong foot by the party. Some of his views including what was seen as being appreciative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had caused a controversy.