Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leaders in Kerala are trying to rein in its Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who is pursuing a development line different from his party, Congress, and its political alliance, the United Democratic Front (UDF). He provoked them by taking a divergent position on the SilverLine rail project, but Congress leaders can now claim that Tharoor has finally come around the party’s stand on the pet project of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) government and particularly Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Tharoor indicated the change in his position on the semi high-speed rail project in a letter written to opposition leader V D Satheesan. Meanwhile, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee decided to give more time to Tharoor to explain his stand on the issue.
Congress leaders in Kerala were upset as Tharoor liberally praised the chief minister's development agenda and backed the SilverLine project even as the party is opposed to it.
Tharoor who is currently in the US will meet KPCC president K Sudhakaran soon after his return to Thiruvananthapuram on January 14.
Subsequently, both the leaders are likely to address the media jointly to explain the party's general stand on the issue. Currently, Tharoor is interacting with the PCC leadership over the phone regarding the issues concerning the project.
In the letter written to Satheesan, Tharoor has made it clear that he is also putting forward the questions raised by the Congress regarding the project.
Issues such as problems being faced by the people who are giving their land for the project, environment questions raised by the project in a state which has faced back-to-back natural calamities and the additional financial liability needs to be subjected to more discussions, the MP wrote.
The government should make the Detailed Project Report (DPR) public. “I never took a firm stand supporting the project at any stage. I only said that more time is needed,” Tharoor said.