PM to meet Sonia today to decide on Tharoor's fate | delhi | Hindustan Times
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PM to meet Sonia today to decide on Tharoor's fate

delhi Updated: Apr 18, 2010 10:43 IST
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Congress President Sonia Gandhi will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday to discuss the Shashi Tharoor-IPL Kochi franchise ownership issue, which has sparked a controversy.

Shashi Tharoor's fate remained uncertain amid indications that a final call on his future in the government is likely to be taken by the Congress high command.

With the return of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from his week-long visit to the Americas, the stage is set for him, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other members of the Core Group to take a decision on Tharoor's continuance in the government.

The Minister of State for External Affairs is embroiled in a controversy resulting from allocation of sweat equity valued at Rs 70 crore by the IPL Kochi franchise to his friend Sunanda Pushkar. However, he has denied the charge that he intended to get any financial gain for him or his friend.

A senior Congress leader said nothing has been decided and "all options are open". The party has already distanced itself from Tharoor on the IPL issue saying it was for him to explain.

The minister's statement in Lok Sabha yesterday appears not to have changed the position of the party. The opposition is gunning for the removal of 54-year old first time MP from Thiruvananthapuram on the ground that he misused his office to get pecuniary gains for his friend.

Senior leaders L K Advani and Prakash Karat today joined the chorus for Tharoor's sacking.

Advani said the Prime Minister must drop Tharoor from the Council of Ministers because of "gross impropriety" unbecoming of the office he is occupying.

"It also needs to be probed whether he (Tharoor) is also guilty of abusing his office to secure pecuniary advantage for himself or for some other person," he said.

The CPI(M) General Secretary said "I am sure the Congress party and the government will recognise that what has happened is totally unwarranted and uncalled for and it would be better if Tharoor steps down without further delay".

The entire opposition paralysed Parliament on Friday demanding his removal and wanted a statement from the Prime Minister on the issue and not a clarification from Tharoor.

The opposition has given enough hints that it would be unrelenting on the demand for Tharoor's removal.