Facing flak from Congress for accepting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invite to join Swachhta Abhiyan, former Union minister Shashi Tharoor on Thursday got support from party general secretary Digvijay Singh, who saw "nothing wrong" in the Kerala MP's actions.
"I see nothing wrong in Shashi Tharoor accepting to be brand ambassador for Swachhta Abhiyan. It is a Congress party programme adopted by Modi," Singh said on Twitter.
The party, however, said that the leaders were speaking for themselves.
Party spokesperson Anand Sharma retorted, "Digvijay speaks for himself. Tharoor speaks for himself."
The remarks by Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, who has often taken positions which have ruffled feathers in the party, have come at a time when the Kerala Congress unit has decided to seek suitable action from the high command against Tharoor.
A senior AICC functionary, speaking on condition of anonmity, had on Wednesday said that Tharoor should not have accepted the invite and kept in mind that he belonged to a party to which he owes position and his independent intellectual outlook comes later.
The leader had said that intellectuals and academics who join Congress must remember that it is the party which gave them positions and must not do anything which makes the partymen uncomfortable.
Holding that Tharoor's adulatory statements about Modi had hurt Congress workers' sentiments in Kerala, the KPCC on Wednesday resolved to draw up a report and submit it to the high command.
The decision was taken by a meeting of chief minister Oommen Chandy, KPCC president VM Sudheeran and Home minister Ramesh Chennithala held at the party state headquarters there.
On his part, Tharoor had set the record straight by asserting his support to Modi's initiatives like "Swachh Bharat" did not mean that he was endorsing the "Hindutva agenda" of the BJP and rejected outright the suggestions of him moving closer to the saffron party.