"The views expressed by Shashi Tharoor about Modi and the government are his personal views. As a party, it is too early for us to express these views. It is too early to comment on the functioning of the government," party spokesperson Shobha Oza said.
Her comments came in response to a barrage of questions a day after Tharoor's praise appeared in a US news website in which he had among other things remarked that Modi was looking to turn himself from a ‘hate figure into an avatar of modernity and progress’.
Oza steered clear of questions as to what could be the trigger for Tharoor, an articulate spokesperson, to praise Modi, who is seen by many in the party as the ‘most polarizing politician’.
She also parried questions on whether any action could be taken against Tharoor.
On his part, Tharoor said that he cannot be called a fan of Modi.
"No, afraid you can't. I have been intrigued by the fact that the paraphrases of my piece I have seen in the Indian media looks like people don't actually read every word and every nuance," he said.
Tharoor said his piece very clearly explains that for a dozen years the Congress party had good reasons to criticize him very severely for the 2002 riots.
But the way he has conducted himself after the election and spoken from the moment of his victory he ‘has been amazingly gracious and accommodative’ of even those who had not voted for him.
Tharoor was all praise for the language and tone used by Modi and so he thought it would be churlish not to acknowledge it.
"We should acknowledge that this may be the evolution of Modi 2.0 but if Modi 1.0 reemerges, then we will robustly oppose him," he said.
When asked if the Congress party would go with his views, Tharoor said he has not been fired as the party spokesperson.
He said the media creates controversies for TRP ratings ‘but there is actually a coherence and synergy at work’ when various spokespersons speak.