Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tharoor's taunt on austerity angers Congress

16 September 2009
New Delhi, Sep 16: The Congress Wednesday said Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor's remarks that he would travel in "cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows" were not acceptable and the party high command may also decide if any disciplinary action is to be taken against him.

"The party strongly disapproves the statement of the minister. It is unacceptable, not respecting political or any other sensibilities," said Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan.

On his page on the micro-blogging site Twitter, Tharoor was asked, "Tell us minister, next time you travel to Kerala, will it be cattle class?" His reply: "Absolutely, in cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows."

Asked whether any disciplinary action would be taken against the former UN diplomat, the spokesperson said: "This is something that the high command will decide."

The Congress and the government it leads have launched an austerity drive against the backdrop of drought in some parts of the country and rising prices of essential commodities.

Tharoor as well as External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna were asked earlier this month to move out of five-star hotels where they had been staying for over three months - though at their own expense.

Tharoor, who was staying at the Hotel Taj Mahal on Man Singh Road, is now staying at an Indian Navy guesthouse.

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