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‘Respect Cong chief’s views’: Shashi Tharoor declines CPM’s invite | India News – Times of India



NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday said he has declined an invitation to attend a CPM event in Kerala after discussing the matter with AICC chief Sonia Gandhi.
Sonia had asked Tharoor to refrain from attending the CPM seminar to be held in April and directed him to listen to the Kerala leadership, IANS reported quoting sources.
Tharoor said that he will not attend the meeting as he “respected her [Sonia’s] views on the matter.”
The ruling Left party in Kerala had invited the Thiruvananthapuram MP to attend seminars ahead of its 23rd Party Congress scheduled to be held at Kannur from April 6-10.
Sources told IANS that Congress leaders from Kerala met Sonia at the party’s parliamentary office in New Delhi to inform her of the “embarrassing development”.
Seemingly upset over criticism directed at him by some state Congress leaders, Tharoor said a similar invitation was extended a month ago for a seminar on the sidelines of the CPM State Party Conference and on that occasion also, he consulted the AICC president and a suitable decision was taken without any media controversy.
“A similar procedure could easily have been followed this time also. 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,” he said in a statement.
“I had welcomed the invitation on the following grounds — The event is a national one and the highest forum of the CPM, organised by its Central Committee, and formulates its national policy. Nationally we have a cooperative relationship with the CPM; The topic for the seminar does not involve any matter of sensitivity in Kerala but is on ‘Centre-state relations’, where there is no real difference of opinion between our parties; The event sets a fine example of intellectual exchange on policy issues among ‘anti-BJP opposition parties’, which should in principle be encouraged,” he added.
Congress’ Kerala unit President K Sudhakaran has said the party had barred its leaders from attending the programme as it was strongly fighting the CPM-led government over the proposed K-Rail project.
However, Tharoor had told the media that the topic of the seminar, to which he was invited, was not related to any issues pertaining to Kerala or K-Rail.
(With inputs from agencies)

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