If Shashi Tharoor wants a title to flaunt along with his myriad accomplishments, he might like to consider “Row Bahadur”. The minister of state for external affairs in the Manmohan Singh team has led what can only be mildly termed a charmed existence in the first nine months of the second innings of the UPA government.
After his failed bid to become secretary-general of the United Nations,with the backing of UPA-I, the youthful son of a journalist has been rarely out of the limelight, slipping from one 140-character controversy to another. His election campaign in Trivandrum was marred by reports that he had disrespected the national anthem.
Inducted into the council of ministers, the first-time MP’s five-star accommodation made embarrassing headlines and set the tone for a week of breastbeating over his tweet on travelling “cattle-class”. His reported comments about Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at a book launch ruffled a few Congress feathers. His senior, S.M. Krishna, has had to publicly draw the lakshman rekha for his Twittermania. And now comes the gaffe about Saudi Arabia being an “interlocutor” in the India-Pakistan theatre.
Question: Will Shashi Tharoor survive the first reshuffle of Team Manmohan?
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