Tharoor told to refrain from comments

Tharoor told to refrain from comments

New Delhi: Congress leadership on Tuesday asked minister of external affairs Shashi Tharoor, whose comments over United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s austerity measures on social networking Twitter have triggered a political controversy, to refrain from comments or action that may hurt the sensitivity of the people.

Tharoor, who returned from his official tour to Liberia and Ghana Monday night, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday. The meetings came three days after Congress party announcement that “appropriate action" will be taken at “appropriate time" against the minister for his remarks on Twitter, which the party termed as “insensitive."

According to a Congress leader, who did not want to be identified, the party leadership has asked the minister to keep the sensitivity of the people in mind in his remarks. “He was told that this is India and he cannot express humour without keeping the sensitivity of the people in mind. He should remember that he is a member of Indian Parliament, not that of any European countries," the leader said. According to the leader Tharoor has justified his remark saying that he did not mean to hurt any one but it was just humour.

According to Tharoor’s aides, the Congress president has also promised that party leaders also would not make any comments on it. Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot had asked Tharoor to quit the post.

The minister had apologized for his remarks on the social networking site itself saying that it was a “silly expression" and meant no disrespect to economy travelers. Tharoor’s remark that he would travel “cattle class in solidarity with all our holy cows", had come a day after Gandhi travelled by economy class in a flight to Mumbai to set an example for the party to follow austerity measures that could help the government redirect funds for welfare programmes in the wake of deficient rains.