Tharoor on the other hand says, he is surprised by the party's accusation of he being pro-BJP. In a Tweet, he said,"being receptive to specific statements or actions of BJP leaders does not remotely imply acceptance of the party's core Hindutva agenda."
The 58-year old Kerala MP further stated,"The PM pitched his appeal as a non-political one and I received it in that spirit. I am a proud Congressman and a proud Indian. In short: not pro-BJP, just pro-India!"
This came in the wake of Congress' Kerala leader MM Hassan's remark:
"Tharoor should stop the constant adulation of Narendra Modi. He doesn't deserve or require this."
After PM Modi named him on Thursday, Tharoor said that he had foreseen a controversy: "I was the only politician, and worse, the only Congressman, on his list. What did this portend? Was I defecting to the BJP? Would my party be furious if I accepted?"
However, Tharoor also believed that some of his party members react "maturely", barring a few sections. Congress veteran Congress veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar, for instance said,"Though Shashi Tharoor felt honoured to be invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I am honoured not to be invited."
A former union minister, Tharoor had earlier 'disappointed' his party members with his praises for Modi when he came at the centre. The party had distanced himself from Tharoor, describing him as "Modi 2.0".