Interim finance minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday took a pot shot at Shashi Tharoor, saying he did not understand the Congress leader's “foreign accent”.
While participating in the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, Tharoor had attacked the government saying there was a “significant gap” between the government’s rhetoric and action.
He had launched a scathing attack on the government, saying Nirav Modi, who had fled the country after allegedly duping state-run banks of crores, was photographed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Davos. The Prime Minister had promised to be a “chowkidar”, Tharoor had said.
While replying to the debate on the bill, Goyal said he did not understand the “foreign English accent” of Tharoor.
Responding to Goyal's criticism, Tharoor said, “Interesting to see that @PiyushGoyal says he can't understand my words. That explains why his Party keeps misinterpreting & distorting them”.
The Congress lawmaker was probably referring to his Hindu Pakistan remark, which triggered a huge controversy leading the ruling BJP to cry for an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Addressing an event at Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor said, "If they (BJP) win a repeat in the Lok Sabha our democratic constitution as we understand it will not survive as they will have all the elements they need to tear apart the constitution of India and write a new one".
"My speech on the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill (yes, the same one @PiyushGoyal couldn’t understand): https://youtu.be/JJ5TLQTx5cI (do see it & hear it for yourselves to see if I need speech therapy or the Minister needs a hearing aid!)," the Congress MP wrote in another tweet.
My speech on the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill (yes, the same one @PiyushGoyal couldn’t understand): https://t.co/jL4JNTzmZ0 (do see it & hear it for yourselves to see if I need speech therapy or the Minister needs a hearing aid!)— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 19, 2018
Goyal's comment over Tharoor's accent was objected by RSP member NK Premachandran, who is Tharoor’s fellow MP from Kerala. He came to the Congress MP’s defence, saying “it is not fair on the part of the minister” to make such a comment.
When parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar intervened, Premachandran retorted that he had every right to do so, since the minister had made an observation about a member of the opposition.
Known for his chaste English and a good vocabulary, Tharoor is a two-time MP from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. Prior to his entry in politics, Tharoor served extensively at the United Nations, where he had unsuccessfully contested for the UN Secretary General’s post.
(With inputs from PTI)