Tharoor turns down CPI-M event invite on Sonia’s order

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Gandhi on Monday asked the senior party leader to refrain from attending the CPI-M seminar to be held in April, directing him to listen to the Kerala leadership….reports Asian Lite News

Soon after Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s intervention, party leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday declined the invitation of the CPI-M to attend its national seminar to be held next month.

In a statement, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said: “I regret that some preferred the unseemly public airing of internal differences, thereby creating a needless controversy in a matter in which AICC’s view was binding. I hope wisdom will prevail in future.”

Justifying his openness to attend the seminar, Tharoor said the topic for the seminar “does not involve any matter of sensitivity in Kerala but was on ‘Centre-state relations’, where there is no real difference of opinion between our parties”.

He said he respects the views of the party President and has conveyed the organisers his inability to participate.

Tharoor also highlighted that a month ago, a similar invitation was extended for a seminar on the sidelines of the CPI-M state party conference. “On that occasion also, I consulted the AICC President and a suitable decision was taken without any media controversy,” he said.

Gandhi on Monday asked the senior party leader to refrain from attending the CPI-M seminar to be held in April, directing him to listen to the Kerala leadership.

The development came after he joined a meeting of Congress “rebels”, apparently ditching the Congress’s Kerala unit by planning to attend the Left’s seminar.

As per sources, Congress leaders from Kerala met Gandhi at the party’s parliamentary office in Delhi to intimate her of the “embarrassing” development.

Congress’ Kerala state chief K. Sudhakaran had said that the state party has issued a ban on party leaders participating in the national seminar to be organised by the CPI-M as part of its national conference at Kannur and if anyone violates the bar, they would have to face party action.

The CPI-M’s 23rd party Congress will be held at the red fort of Kannur from April 6 to April 10, and the national seminar will be held during it.

The Left party had invited Tharoor and former Union Minister K.V. Thomas, who also hails from the state, for the seminar on national politics. The Congress had, however, issued a statement that no Congress leader must participate in the CPI-M seminar as the party is in a fight against the CPI-M due to the “anti-people policies” of the Left government led by Pinarayi Vijayan.

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