Tharoor makes a Swachh Bharat in his constituency

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014,17:46 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Days after facing party action for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today led a cleanliness campaign at Vizhinjam near Thiruvananthapuram and said no political meaning should be read into it.
Tharoor, who was removed as AICC spokesperson based on the complaint from Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee for lavishing praises on Modi and endorsing the Swachh Bharat campaign, removed garbages at a spot near Vizhinjam harbour in his parliamentary constituency. Defending his active participation in the cleanliness drive, Tharoor said, This is not the prerogative of any political party and the message of keeping one’s surroundings clean was first given by Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi had said sanitation was more important than independence. But for Gandhi, cleanliness of body and mind was equally important, which meant that ridding the heart of hatred and violence was also important, Tharoor said when asked whether his action would be dubbed as violation of party’s warning. The second-term Congress MP from Kerala capital said the AICC had also called upon Congress workers to join a month long cleanliness drive from Gandhi Jayanthi day on October 2.
When reporters asked whether he was joining the Swachh Bharat campaign, he said You can call it by any name but what is important is to keep the country clean. You see, the local people around me. They include several Congress workers …What is important is to make the country clean, irrespective of party politics, he said.
Tharoor had yesterday tweeted, Vizhinjam beach, a splendid site ruined by filth and garbage; which I will clean with the help of the local residents tomorrow. Congress leaders in the state chose to refrain from making any comments on Tharoor’s move. However, in a dig at Tharoor, KPCC general secretary Ajay Tharayil said the party had decided to ignore his move.
Earlier this month, Tharoor was removed as a party spokesperson by AICC based on the complaint from KPCC against his repeated adulatory remarks about Modi. He has, however, persistently held that his praise of certain initiatives of Modi did not mean that he ever backed the BJP’s Hindutva agenda or that he was moving closer to the saffron party.