Congress leader Shashi Tharoor blamed Kerala Sports Minister V Abdurahiman for the poor turnout at the third ODI between India and Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.
Abdurahiman said before the ODI that “those who are starving need not go to watch the match”.
Tharoor, who is the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, took to social media on Monday to criticise Abdurahiman but also said that irrespective of what the Sports Minister said, people should not have avoided turning up for the match.
“It appears that my statement yesterday regretting the poor attendance at the third India-SriLanka ODI, as a result of the social media boycott urged by fans enraged by the insensitive remarks of the Kerala Sports Minister, has been misrepresented by some.
“Boycotts are a democratic right, but they should target the person against whom the boycotters are protesting. I have nothing against those who were understandably outraged by the Minister’s callous comment that those who can’t afford to buy a ticket need not attend the match.
“The SportsMinister, who didn’t bother enough to even attend the match, doesn’t care if the gallery is full or empty. He was unaffected by the boycott. The protestors should have boycotted the Minister, not the game. The boycott only hurt the future prospects of cricket in Tvm,” Tharoor posted in a series of tweets.
1. It appears that my statement yesterday regretting the poor attendance at the third India-SriLanka ODI, as a result of the social media boycott urged by fans enraged by the insensitive remarks of the Kerala Sports Minister, has been misrepresented by some.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 16, 2023
Abdurahiman sparked controversy last week after he was asked about the possibility of a reduction in tax on the tickets.
“What is the need for reducing the tax? The demand is that the country is witnessing the phenomenon of price rise so that the tax should be reduced. Those who are starving need not go to watch the match,” the Minister had said.
Tharoor said the Minister could have avoided saying what he said and the public ought to have not boycotted the match.
“I saw some campaigns on social media calling for a boycott of the match. It appears their campaign was effective. I think it was illogical to boycott it. I was fortunate to watch the match, so were those who came here,” the Congress MP said.