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HomeBreaking NewsWith Kerala Tour, Shashi Tharoor Sees New Griping From Congress: 10 Facts

With Kerala Tour, Shashi Tharoor Sees New Griping From Congress: 10 Facts

Shashi Tharoor is on his first major political tour, miles from his Thiruvananthapuram constituency.

New Delhi:
Shashi Tharoor’s frenetic tour of Kerala has become hugely controversial for the Congress, with a section furious at the MP’s political outreach. Congress leaders in Kerala are concerned about the possible emergence of a “Tharoor faction”, sources say.

  1. “I am not afraid of anyone and no one should be afraid of me,” the congressman told his party members. He was also asked why he was not campaigning for the elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. “Football teaches us that every sport must be played with sportsmanship. Shouldn’t we also see politics as sporty? The referee is not yet out with a red card. The elections in Himachal and Gujarat did not have my name as a star campaigner.” We can only go if our names are on it,” he said.

  2. The Congress has not officially objected to Mr Tharoor’s solo act, but a leader has issued some kind of warning, without naming him. “The Congress in Kerala can no longer afford parallel activities… After suffering twice in the polls, the party is making a comeback in the state. Everyone is now working as a team. At this point, no one will want to get permission to do parallel activities,” said VD Satheesan, a senior congress leader in Kerala.

  3. The resentment of some of the Congress was exposed when a Youth Congress event for Mr Tharoor in Kozhikode was called off; he was eventually hosted by a pro-congress outfit after the intervention of Kozhikode Congress MP Raghavan and other youth congress leaders. Now, to limit the damage, the Youth Congress can go ahead with a planned event in Kannur on Wednesday, according to sources. If not, this event may also be taken over by a pro-congress group.

  4. Mr Tharoor’s supporters – unofficially dubbed the “Tharoor faction” in the state congress – lashed out at what they called an “unannounced ban” at the seminar on “Sangh Parivar and Challenges to Secularism” hosted by the youth congress on Sunday .

  5. In a series of tweets, Mr. Tharoor shared images of what he says was an overwhelming participation from the Kozhikode Youth Congress, but also appeared to be shading his party. “Great welcome by @iyc activists in Kozhikode after some came under pressure not to give me a platform,” the congress leader tweeted.

  6. This is Mr Tharoor’s first major political tour, miles from his Thiruvananthapuram constituency in the southernmost part of Kerala. During his visit to Northern Kerala – also known as the Malabar region – the congressman met with his party’s biggest ally in Kerala, the Muslim League.

  7. “Some say it is divisive tactics or groupism. We do not intend to create a group and are not interested in it. Congress is already full of ‘A’ and ‘I’ groups and it no need to add any more alphabets like “O” and “V” If there must be an alphabet it should be “U” for a united Congress which we all need I don’t see the need in making a big deal of two UDF (Opposition Kerala coalition) MPs meeting with allied leaders,” Tharoor said.

  8. The tour comes at a pivotal time and context for Shashi Tharoor following his candidacy for President of Congress last month. He, predictably, failed to win against the Gandhis-approved Mallikarjun Kharge. He even complained that he was scorned by Congress deputies in many states, but a large share of the vote for him in party chairpersons’ polls came from Kerala.

  9. The Muslim League apparently favors a greater role for Mr Tharoor in Kerala politics, though they have publicly been cautious of their ally, often limiting their remarks to the words “it is the internal business of the Congress” . The Congress and the Muslim League are already trying to mend a rift over statements by K Sudhakaran, the chief of Congress in Kerala, labeled as pro-RSS.

  10. On Wednesday, Mr Tharoor will be in Kannur, the home of Mr Sudhakaran, who, while not happy with the tour, has tried to rein in leaders who make public comments or express dissent. Mr Sudhakaran also described reports that Mr Tharoor was not attending public events as unfounded. “Tharoor has also denied it,” he said.

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