New Delhi/Riyadh, March 1: Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor is once again in the line of fire. His statement on making Saudi Arabia an intelocutor has drawn criticism from the oppostion parties who are now demanding an explanation.
Calling Tharoor's statement as irresponsible, BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad asked if the statement was made with the full knowledge of the Prime Minister.
"Tharoor's comment is "utterly irresponsible and we thoroughly condemn it. Has the statement been made with the consent of the Prime Minister? Is this a trial balloon?" Prasad asked.
Refering to India's stand on non-interference from a third party, Prasad said that the Prime Minister will be asked to clarify on Tharoor's remark.
There has been no third party mediation (in Indo-Pak ties). Tharoor's remarks are an insult to India's sovereignty. We will seek a clarification from the Prime Minister in Parliament," he said.
Emphasing his Party's objection to the Tharoor's suggestion on making Saudi Arabi as a potential interlocutor between India and Pakistan.
"Tharoor's remarks are objectionable. The Prime Minister must explain such irresponsible remarks," Javadekar said in a news agency report.
Joining the BJP in slamming the controversial statement the Communist Party of India (CPI) sought the PM's clarification on it.
"This is an irresponsible statement creating confusion. This one is deviating from India's stated position that no third party intervention is allowed in Indo-Pak relations," said CPI leader D Raja, adding that the PM owes an explanation in the parliament.
Sensing that his statement has created an uproar back home, Tharoor, who is accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his three-day official visit to Riyadh justified himself saying that he has never used the word mediator.
"No chance of my saying Saudi Arabia should be a mediator... Never said that or anything like it," Tharoor said a couple of hours after the media publicised his earlier remarks.