Union Minister of state for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on Thursday dismissed as "unfounded and misleading" the charges by Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan who had accused him of using public platforms to deride the Left Democratic Front government in the state.
"Critical remarks made by the chief minister against me are unfounded and misleading. It was unbecoming on his part to have made such comments in my absence," Tharoor said.
The rejoinder by Tharoor, an MP from Thiruvanathapuram, comes after Achuthanandan had accused him of using public platforms to run down the LDF Government's achievements without living up to people's aspirations in his constituency.
The chief minister at a function also sought to know what Tharoor had done for the state as a minister and the representative of the state capital in the Lok Sabha.
Seeking to turn the tables on the CPI(M) veteran, Tharoor said he was prepared for an open debate with Achuthanandan on support the state had been receiving from UPA Government.
About his absence at the function two days ago to distribute title deeds to the landless, where Achuthanandan had made the critical remarks, Tharoor said he had informed the government in advance about his inability to be present since Parliament was in session.
"I have great respect for Achuthanandan as a senior leader of Kerala. However, I could not help reacting to unfounded charges he had hurled at me," he said.