SHASHI’S TAKE … Senior parliamentarian joins call by Congress leaders to rate PM Modi objectively

NEWS SHASHI CONGRESS MODI
NEW DELHI: Senior Congress politician and former UN diplomat, Shashi Tharoor MP joined a band of party leaders in saying that the good deeds of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be appreciated. Similar statements were made by former Union minister Jairam Ramesh and another party elder, Supreme Court lawyer Manu Abhishek Singhvi in recent days. The Congress party and the CPIM have been adopting a one-track approach to PM Modi, by making it a point to criticize each and every step of the PM.
Tweeted Tharoor, who is Congress MP for the third time from Kerala and a former Union minister: “As you know, I have argued for six years now that Narendra Modi should be praised whenever he says or does the right thing, which would add credibility to our criticisms whenever he errs. I welcome others in opposition coming around to a view for which I was excoriated at the time.”

It was former environment minister and a close associate in the past of Rahul Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh, who said at a book launch on Wednesday that the good works of Modi should be acknowledged and appreciated. Tharoor pointed out that praising Modi for his good works alongside criticism of his other actions would give credibility to the Opposition.

Despite all the criticism the principal Opposition the Congress and its sidekick, the CPIM, made against Modi all through the past five years, Modi led the BJP to a resounding victory for the second consecutive time in the 2019 parliament polls – a more impressive performance for them than in the previous Lok Sabha polls in 2014. This has led to a reassessment of the Opposition strategies, at individual levels, by these Congress leaders.

Assessments are that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi going about calling PM Modi a “chor” (Chowkidar chor hai) at Congress campaign rallies helped Modi gain more support from the voters – as Modi is widely seen as being among the rare instance of a leader not making money for himself and his near and dear family members. 

The CPIM, led by a former JNU student leader Sitaram Yechury as its general secretary, has been adopting a one-point policy to win support for his party, namely to back the minorities (Muslim causes) in place and out of place, by raising the slogan of secularism. This, in a nation where this is a non-issue for the reason that people of all communities live in harmony, unlike the scenario in other countries. The result is that the CPIM is only in name now, other than for the strength it holds in Kerala, where it is the ruling party thanks to the strength of local leaders, who are keeping Yechury at a distance. 

Yechury, a leader who has no understanding of the mass psyche and has little sympathy towards the disadvantaged sections and has alienated the majority community due to his constant advocacy of secularism, is in the forefront of attacking PM Modi in the last five years. 

SHASHI THAROOR

A prominent writer, thinker, orator and intellectual, Shashi Tharoor has been a strong presence for the Congress party in Parliament. His views are heard with rapt attention every time he participates in a debate or addresses an event. However, even as he openly expressed his readiness to lead the party in the Lok Sabha if Rahul Gandhi was not inclined to do so, the party leadership — read Sonia Gandhi and the family — did not give him that opportunity. Several senior Congress leaders say in private that he would have been the best bet for the party in Parliament, though the party has selected a former West Bengal PCC chief, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for the prime slot. Shashi Tharoor is famously a former UN under secretary general during the time Africa’s Kofi Annan ran the world body as its secretary general. — HN-NN

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