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Tweet but with tact, says Sonia

After triggering a controversy by his "cattle class" remark, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and was asked by the party to desist from any comments or actions, even jokingly, that would hurt the sentiments of common people. Listen to podcastaudio

delhi Updated: Sep 23, 2009 00:11 IST
HT Correspondent

Advised caution in his comments and action, Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor was back on the social networking site Twitter, shortly after he called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the backdrop of demands for his resignation by a section in the party over his controversial “cattle class’’ remarks.

The minister also met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee shortly after he called on Gandhi. The Congress virtually issued a diktat to Tharoor to exercise restraint.

“Any well wisher of the party, government and Tharoor will advise him to desist from any comments or action even jokingly that would hurt the sentiments of the common man,’’ said spokesman Shakeel Ahmed.

There was no word on what transpired at these meetings. But a glum Tharoor sped past waiting newspersons outside Gandhi’s residence. He also refused to speak to the media after his meeting with the Prime Minister. He was back tweeting: “Long day catching up with a week's absence from Delhi. Mountains of pending files. Two journalists actually interviewed me on Africa!”

Though the Tharoor camp claims that his meetings were “routine,’’ others in the party maintain that he gave an explanation on his tweets.

With his remarks raising demands for his resignation, Tharoor called up from abroad, apologising to both Gandhi and the PM — and to the people through the networking site.

But the Congress, had insisted on “appropriate action” against him. It was also unhappy that his OSD posted reactions ridiculing spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan as an “outdated Indian political spokesperson’’ for describing his remarks as “totally unacceptable."