Congress leader and former Union minister M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday blamed party colleague Jairam Ramesh for the “policy paralysis” during the second tenure of the United Progressive Alliance government, PTI reported. He made the accusation while condemning Ramesh’s remark that demonising Prime Minister Narendra Modi all the time would not help the cause of the Opposition.

In an interview to PTI, Moily called for appropriate disciplinary action by the Congress against Ramesh and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who also appeared to endorse Ramesh’s remark. Moily said the remarks were unfortunate and in “very bad taste”.

“As if the Congress is demonising [Modi],” Moily said, claiming that Ramesh had “compromised himself” with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party with the remark. “And any leader who would like to give such statement, I think, they are not doing service to Congress party or the its leadership,” he added.

“He [Ramesh] is responsible for policy paralysis of our government and he is also responsible for compromising the principles of governance many a time,” Moily alleged. Tharoor, meanwhile, was never considered to be a mature politician, and is “often on and off fond of giving statements and finding his place in the press, that’s all”, Moily added.

“I don’t think his statement could be taken that seriously,” Moily said. “He has to become a serious politician. That’s our plea. I think time is now for the Congress party to take appropriate disciplinary action and also warn these people.”

Moily said those who wish to exit the Congress can do so instead of “sabotaging the party and its ideology being within the party”.

Ramesh was a Union minister in the second tenure of the Congress-led UPA government. Last week at a book launch, he had said: “He [Modi] talks in a language that connects him with the people. Unless we recognise that he is doing things which people recognise and which have not been done in the past, we are not going to be able to confront this guy. Also, if you are going to demonise him all the time, you are not going to be able to confront him.”

Senior Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Shashi Tharoor backed the comment. Tharoor claimed he had argued for six years that Modi should be praised whenever he says or does the right thing, thereby adding credibility to the Opposition’s criticisms whenever he errs.

The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee on Tuesday decided to seek an explanation from Tharoor.