Becoming a minister in his very first outing in the Lok Sabha is an icing in the cake for Shashi Tharoor but the former UN diplomat says getting the good news directly from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself was an overwhelming experience.
"It was an extraordinary moment to have the PM come on phone and speak and then handover the phone to UPA chairperson Mrs (Sonia) Gandhi who also spoke," said the 53-year-old author-diplomat turned politician, a first time MP who won from Thiruvananthanpuram as the Congress candidate.
Tharoor said the move by Singh and Gandhi to individually call up ministers who are to be sworn in certainly showed it was not a matter the two leaders have taken lightly and that they have given a great deal of importance in inform those who have found a berth in the Union Council of ministers.
"This is a government that is determined to act and the leadership clearly wants to be a very strong team around it and I think it is a privilege to be one of them," said the former UN under secretary general.
Asked about media speculation that he will find a slot in the External Affairs Ministry, Tharoor's reply was, " I am simply going to wait to know where I am assigned and whichever ministry it is one has the duty to do one's very best and I will do so."
Tharoor said he does not have particular preference for any ministry and that it will be a challenge to do any assignment. "Everything will be a challenge and one must be flexible," he said.