Cong distances from Manish Tewari’s remarks

New Delhi: Congress today distanced itself from the remarks made by its leader Manish Tewari on the government’s move to appoint former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam as Kerala governor and said it expects him to toe the party line.

Congress sources said if Tewari did not do so, the party would communicate to him in writing.

Congress had yesterday slammed the move to appoint Sathasivam as the Governor and wondered whether the government was “pleased” with his judgement in the Amit Shah case.

However, Tewari today said there is “no constitutional or legal bar” on a former Chief Justice of India to accept the position of a governor.

He also said that in early 90s, Congress had brought a former CJI Ranganath Misra to the Rajya Sabha from Odisha.

Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza said his views are “personal.

She was asked if there was chaos or lack of clarity in Congress party on the issue.

“There is no chaos. There is total clarity in Congress. When a spokesperson says anything, that is the official party line. We have made it absolutely crystal clear that whatever Ananad Sharma commented on former CJI being appointed a Governor is the official party line. And any other person speaking on various issues is his personal view,” she said.

She said Tewari was just a panelist and not a spokesperson and has to articulate and “toe” party lines.

AICC Secretary Tom Vadakkan said a panelist’s duty is to participate in debates.

“Panelist is somebody who attends television debates. He does not intervene or give opinions on matters. He is given an official line for discussion. The spokesperson is the voice of Congress party,” he said.

Asked if any action would be taken against Tewari, she said it is the party’s “internal matter” which will be looked into.

This is the latest in a series of instances where the party had to distance itself from the views expressed by its leaders.

The party had last week distanced itself from Janardan Dwivedi’s comment regarding age bar on politicians even as another senior party colleague Digvijaya Singh supported him.

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