PM included me in clean India campaign without prior consent: Tharoor

Saturday, Oct 4, 2014,18:46 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Although former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to join as one among the nine Clean India campaign ambassadors but he said the PMO did not take his prior consent before empanelling him in the ‘Swachch Bharat’ team.
While I was travelling and uncontactable, the PM had gone ahead and announced his invitation to me to join a panel of nine prominent Indians to promote his new Clean India campaign, Mr Tharoor wrote in an opinion piece which appeared today in a web news portal.
He said, I landed in Romania on Thursday this week to attend and address the Bucharest Forum, only to be greeted by a flurry of messages. The Prime Minister’s office had been trying to reach me while I was airborne.
The invitation to Mr Tharoor among nine select persons to act as brand ambassadors of ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign is bound to create unease in Congress, the Kerala MP has been showering praise on Mr Modi since the Lok Sabha election results.
Mr Tharoor also gave a feeling of he also being uneasy, saying that Some in the media, inevitably, were trying to stir up a controversy: I was the only politician, and worse, the only Congressman, on his list.
What did this portend? Was I defecting to the BJP? Would my party be furious if I accepted?,    Mr Tharoor expressed his satisfaction that the Congress party reacted maturely to the announcement.
He said, the Congress would have welcomed it if the Prime Minister had invited many other Congress men and women to join his effort.
After all, it had been launched on the birthday of the greatest Congressman of us all, Mahatma Gandhi, who once said, ‘Sanitation is more important than Independence’, the former union minister said.
Mr Tharoor continued to shower praise on Mr Modi, saying the PM has grabbed the nations’s attention by launching ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign.
This was not the first time the PM had reached out to him, Mr Tharoor said, recalling that less than a year ago, then-Chief Minister Modi had asked him on Twitter to join in exhorting young Indians to register to vote.