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Tharoor meets Congress top brass


New Delhi : Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who resigned as junior external affairs minister, spent much of Monday afternoon meeting party leaders including Pranab Mukherjee, A.K. Antony and P. Chidambaram.

The MP from Thiruvananthapuram, forced to quit as minister of state for external affairs Sunday over allegations that he had influenced the Kochi franchise of the Indian Premier League, met them in Parliament House.

He also had a meeting with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

When contacted, Antony refused to say what transpired in the meeting.

Informed sources said Tharoor was exploring the possibility of making a statement in parliament.

Tharoor, who was absent during question hour, reached the house at 12.40 pm. He left parliament at 2 p.m. after the meetings, the sources said.

The former high ranking UN diplomat, whose 11-month ministerial tenure ended after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress leaders found that his continuance could cause more embarrassment to the party, refused to speak to journalists.

Tharoor had Friday had put up a spirited defence of himself in the Lok Sabha, claiming he had done no wrong and not used his office to promote the interest of friend Sunanda Pushkar.

The Dubai-based businesswoman got sweat equity worth Rs.70 crore in Rendezvous Sports World, a member of the consortium that won the IPL Kochi franchise.

On Sunday, Pushkar announced she was giving up her stake in the IPL franchise.

The controversy began after IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said on his twitter account that Tharoor had asked him to suppress information about Pushkar getting a stake in the IPL Kochi franchise.