Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that he finds it “irritating” when people say that he praised the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whereas, all he said was that the party should figure out why people voted for him again in 2019.

The parliamentarian from Thiruvananthapuram has been facing criticism within his party, with the Kerala Congress asking him to clarify his remarks in support of party colleague Jairam Ramesh who asked the Congress to stop demonising Modi.

In his reply to Kerala Congress unit chief Mullapally Ramachandran, Shashi Tharoor said, “he is astonished to hear that he justified Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He further said that ” he has done no such thing”.

Tharoor was served a notice, after several of his party colleagues from Kerala criticised him for what they believe was a statement praising Modi.

Talking to reporters at Delhi University after the event organized by NSUI, Tharoor said, “The problem is media reports are completely unfounded. Frankly, it irritates me greatly whenever media talks about ‘Tharoor’s praise for Modi’.”

At the university event, Tharoor reiterated his challenge to his critics to give example of his praise of Modi. “What I have said is that our principle should be that we should understand why people voted for Mr Modi. We as an opposition party got 19 per cent votes in 2014 and 19 per cent in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. BJP under Mr Modi got 31 per cent in 2014 and 37 per cent in 2019. Many of these people who used to vote for us in the past went to the BJP,” he said.

Earlier, in the letter to the Kerala Congress chief, he wrote, “So what’s this outcry about? It is based on “hysterical reactions to distorted reporting of a single tweet I issued supporting remarks made by Jairam Ramesh and Abhishekh Singhvi.”

He ended his letter by stating, “I urge my fellow Congressmen from Kerala to respect my approach even when they don’t agree with it.”