New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's comments on Sunday praising American lawmakers' efforts after a resolution was introduced in the US House of Representatives urging India to lift the restrictions on communications in Jammu and Kashmir came in for attack from some BJP leaders.
However, the former Union minister hit back saying whenever the saffron party conducts indefensible policies, it prefers to shelter behind "national interests".
Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has introduced a Congressional resolution urging India to lift the restrictions on communications in Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents
"Restore Internet, end detentions In Jammu & Kashmir, says bipartisan resolution in US House. Admirable effort by US representatives, whereas in our Parliament we have been unable even to have a discussion on the subject of Kashmir in the entire winter session. Shame," Tharoor said in a tweet.
His remarks came in for sharp criticism from BJP MPs Shobha Karandlaje and Tejasvi Surya who slammed the Congress leader for calling the move "admirable".
"Shame on you for admiring US interference on India's internal matters. For the very first time J&K is witnessing very less terror activities and people are feeling safer. But the Congress never missed any opportunity to politicise India's domestic matters and defame the country!" BJP MP Karandlaje tweeted.
"Disappointed that Dr. Shashi Tharoor, who has many times defended Indian interests well outside of our borders even when speaking as representative of the opposition, expresses 'admiration' over US interference in India's domestic matters," Surya tweeted.
Tharoor hit back saying he was amused by the BJP's "wilful misreading" of his tweet.
"What's shameful is how our Parliament has been unable to take up this issue, while a foreign legislature has. What's admirable is that the US Congress can discuss issues our own MPs can't," he said.
"Whenever BJP conducts indefensible policies, it prefers to shelter behind "national interests", as if 37% of the national vote gives it the sole and exclusive right to define what our nation's interests are. Democracy requires discussion that our parliamentary managers seek to avoid," Tharoor said in another tweet.
The resolution, introduced in the House of Representatives after several weeks of efforts by Jayapal on Friday, has only one co-sponsor - Republican Congressman Steve Watkins. It's a simple resolution, which cannot be voted in the other chamber, Senate, and does not have the force of law.