Kozhikode: There seems to be no end to the controversy in the Congress in Kerala seems over Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Shashi Tharoor's ongoing Malabar tour to attend various programmes and meet public figures.
While the senior leadership allegedly imposed a "ban" on a seminar on "Sangh Parivar and Challenges to Secularism", which was to be organised by the Youth Congress here on Sunday, Tharoor has been receiving support from various leaders.
Despite the 'unannounced ban' Kozhikode MP M K Raghavan, who has openly thrown his weight behind Tharoor, organised a grand seminar on the same topic under the banner of "the Kozhikode Jawahar Youth Foundation".
Raghavan also urged the party leadership to launch an inquiry into the incident to find out who was responsible for imposing an unannounced ban on Tharoor's programme organised by the Youth Congress.
An elated Tharoor on Monday posted a video of him getting a rousing welcome from the Youth Congress workers in Kozhikode on his Twitter handle. "Wonderful welcome by @iyc activists in Kozhikode after some came under pressure not to provide me a platform", he wrote.
On Monday, Tharoor also attended a function in Kannur district to felicitate noted Malayalam writer T Padmanabhan, who urged the leader not to leave the Congress.
Earlier in the day, Muraleedharan, former KPCC president, said the restriction on Congress members participating in the event may have been imposed by some who desire to be the party's chief minister candidate in Kerala and may have been feeling threatened by Tharoor's activities in the state.
"The restriction may have been created by those who are desirous to be chief minister candidate of the party. I have no such desires; hence I am not bothered by his activities. But that is not the case for everyone."
"There may be those threatened by his activities, why else would they conspire to create such an issue? In any case, the KPCC president has made it clear there is no restriction on attending such events," he said.
Muraleedharan said "what happened should not have happened" and that everyone should ensure it is not repeated.
"There was strong pressure from above and due to that, they (Youth Congress) withdrew the event to which they themselves had invited Tharoor. I know the reason for the same, but I do not wish to disclose or discuss it in public," he added.
According to Muraleedharan, such actions would not help the party activities or work in the state and added that party MLA and Youth Congress state president Shafi Parambil had no role in it and people much above him were involved.
KPCC Chief Sudhakaran said leaders should refrain from actions that bring discredit to the Congress in public regarding the Shashi Tharoor issue. Public reactions that might affect the unity and cohesion of the Congress Party should not be made, he said.
The party will discuss all related issues, he said. “The rumour that Tharoor was barred from attending public events is baseless. He has also denied it. Tharoor has the freedom to work independently in Congress. He is a senior leader and he can participate in official party programs in consultation with the relevant district committees,” Sudhakaran said.