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Tharoor now to concentrate on Lok Sabha constituency

india Updated: Apr 20, 2010 21:12 IST
IANS
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With a "deeply wounded" Shashi Tharoor having quit the government, the former minister is now expected to concentrate on the development of his home constituency of Thiruvananthapuram, a source close to him said.

Tharoor, who quit as junior minister for external affairs on Sunday over the IPL Kochi franchise row, was earlier unable to spend much time in his Lok Sabha constituency due to his ministeial work. He is expected to arrive here Saturday and his fans are planning to give him a rousing reception, the aide said.

"Now his agenda would be to take forward a few projects that are close to his heart, like the twin city project with Barcelona, and of course the mega Vizhinjam port project," said a close aide of Tharoor who did not wish to be identified.

Tharoor won handsomely from the seat during the general elections last April-May - he was two votes short of a lakh majority in beating his rival Communist Party of India candidate.

"We are told he will arrive from Delhi on Saturday and we are going to give him a rousing reception at the airport. As he himself said in parliament today (Tuesday), he is a beginner in Indian politics. What happened to him is a temporary set-back and being a very sensible person, he will learn from his mistakes and we are confident that he will go on to become a very effective Lok Sabha member," said a Youth Congress activist.

When Tharoor was named Thiruvananthapuram candidate by the Congress, it left many party leaders here displeased.

"To be honest not many liked the manner in which he became a candidate. I remember we were waiting in Delhi for more than a week playing our cards and we had lot of expectation that one of us would be a candidate. We stayed put in Delhi and suddenly from nowhere came Tharoor, drove to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, got clearance for his candidature and disappeared. And then after becoming a minister, I don't think he did justice, and now that he has learned the lesson the hard way, I am sure his approach would change," said a senior state Congress leader, who did not wish to be identified.

Meanwhile, former Congress chief minister Oommen Chandy said Tharoor resigned in keeping with the traditions of the Congress party.

But state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president V. Muraleedharan was critical of Tharoor. He said that Tharoor's getting an IPL team for the state does not mean it is a development solution for the state.

"Just by bringing a Rs.1,500 crore IPL team, it cannot be seen as spurring development activities in the state, and in the name of 'development' it is improper for any politician to make financial gains," said Muraleedharan.

Tharoor, speaking in parliament Tuesday after quitting the government, said: "I am deeply wounded by fanciful and malicious charges made against me and I have requested the prime minister to have these charges against me thoroughly investigated."

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