Shashi Tharoor denies 'creating parallels in Congress,' calls accusations 'bizarre'
Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, on Wednesday responded to accusations of creating a parallel with the Congress party in Kerala, calling it "bizarre." The assumption from a section within the party came after his four-day tour to different parts of his home state Kerala. His tour was seen as a "self-projection" exercise or "parallel activity" within the party.
Why does this story matter?
- Tharoor remained runner-up for the presidentship of the Congress party last month against the Gandhi family-backed Mallikarjun Kharge.
- He is also not among the star campaigners for Gujarat, which is going to polls next month.
- Suspicion of "creating parallel" was high as he was also among the 23 Congress leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 for leadership reforms in the party.
Tharoor was accused of creating parallels within the Congress
VD Satheesan, the opposition leader of the Congress party in the Kerala Legislative Assembly, in a veiled manner, accused Tharoor of creating a parallel. "The Congress in Kerala can't afford any more parallel activities... After suffering two drubbings in the assembly polls, the party is in a comeback mode," VD Satheesan, said. However, Congress has not officially objected to Tharoor's solo act.
Cannot accept anyone weakening party: Satheesan
Satheesan on Tuesday said if anyone within Congress has any role in weakening the party, they will be dealt with seriously. While accusing the media, he said that the party cannot accept "peddling stories with an agenda" to weaken the Congress in Kerala. He warned party leaders about the sectarian approach but declined to make a direct comment on Tharoor when asked.
Tharoor denies allegations of creating parallel
Tharoor in an interview with NDTV said that he was very curious to know "what is parallel." The former diplomat said, "Certainly I have the freedom to speak at a college or at a civil services academy. I have been doing that and no one can stop me from doing that." "I am a free citizen of a free republic," Tharoor added.
I am interested in a united Congress party: Tharoor
While denying the allegation of creating a parallel in the state that is going for the General Election in 2024 and assembly in 2026, Tharoor said he was interested in a united Congress party. "I'm resolutely against factionalism. I have, in fact, not joined any of the famous groups in the party nor do I intend to join or start a group," he said.
Is Tharoor projecting himself as the chief ministerial face?
The former diplomat when asked if he has intensified his activities in the state to project himself as chief minister candidate in Kerala, said, "No one can project themselves as anything." He said, "That is for the people to decide whether they want you or not." Tharoor added that his visits are part of a basic courtesy while being in the state.