Many Kerala Congress MPs met Sonia Gandhi separately on Monday to support the Kerala PCC leadership’s opposition to Shashi Tharoor in attending a seminar to be hosted by the CPM next month. Party insiders said Gandhi said she would follow the PCC’s view on the matter.

Tharoor also met Gandhi and claimed that if he had been allowed to attend the seminar, he could have expressed the views of the Congress. “I respect her (Sonia Gandhi’s) opinion on this matter and have made it clear to the organizers that I cannot participate,” Tharoor said in a statement.

After PCC chief K Sudhakaran Tharoor, part of the group seeking change, publicly asked not to participate in the CPM program. Tharoor had said he would ask Gandhi’s permission. Gandhi is said to have taken the same stance in the case of KV Thomas, another congressional leader invited to the CPM seminar.

Relations between Congress and the CPM have reached new lows in Kerala amid public agitation against the LDF regime’s proposed high-speed rail project. Among the MPs who met Gandhi were K Suresh, K Muraleedharan, Benny Behanan and TN Prathapan.

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