While the entire Congress went hammer and tongs against Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutanandan's 'Amul Baby' remark against Rahul Gandhi, former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor says he does not find it insulting.
"Don't see why 'Amul baby"=insult. Amul babies r fit, strong, focused on the future. Symbolise white revolution which brought milk to the masses," Tharoor, one of the star campaigners for the party in Kerala assembly elections, said on Twitter yesterday.
Tharoor is a Congress MP from Kerala. The party on the contrary had slammed Achutanandan for it. Addressing an election rally in Kerala on April 9, Gandhi had taken a swipe at 87-and-a-half-year-old Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, saying if the LDF wins the coming assembly polls, they (people) will have a 93-year-old chief minister by the next elections.
Hitting back at Gandhi, Achutanandan said the Congress leader came to poll-bound Kerala to campaign for 'Amul babies' as he was himself a 'Amul baby'.
Reacting to it, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee termed the Kerala Chief Minister's remarks as "uncivilised" adding "it speaks of the individual taste of the person and culture."
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said "such type of comments are an insult to the youth community of India. People who are about to become history in few days are insulting the youth of the nation through such comments."
Endorsing the party's line, editor of Congress Sandesh Anil Shastri said, "Kerala CM's reference to Rahul Gandhi as Amul baby is irresponsible. He seems preparing his bags for a relaxed retired life after May 13 (the day counting will be held for the Kerala elections."
Congress's Kerala unit had also ticked off the CPI-M stalwart for his comments. In a statement issued in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala PCC president Ramesh Chennithala said, "Achuthanandan has lowered his stock himself by trying to ridicule Rahul Gandhi...it is quite unbecoming of a person holding a high position to run down a widely respected leader like Rahul Gandhi by using intemperate language," he said.
This is not the first remark by Tharoor in which he has taken a different stand from that of the party.
His "cattle class" remark at a time when the party was advocating economy class travel for ministers and senior party functionaries as a part of austerity measures had kicked up a storm in 2009 soon after UPA 2 had come to power. Tharoor was Minister of State for External Affairs then.