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Not upset or angry with anyone in party: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor over Kerala unit row

Shashi Tharoor's opponents in the party feel that through his programmes in Kerala, he was trying to position himself as an ideal chief ministerial candidate of the Congress-led UDF for the 2026 Assembly polls.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor with UDF councillors during their protest against Thiruvananthapuram Corporation Mayor Arya Rajedran, in Thiruvananthapuram, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (PTI)

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said he was not upset or angry with anyone in the Kerala unit of the party and has no reservations in speaking to anyone as “we are not in kindergarten to refrain from talking to each other”.

Speaking to media in the port city of Kochi, where he came to attend a state-level conclave of the All India Professionals’ Congress, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said he has not spoken against anyone in the party or acted against its directives and has no clue why such a controversy has been created.

“I am not upset or angry with anyone. I have not blamed or accused anyone. There are no complaints or issues from my end. I have no problem seeing everyone as one and neither do I have any reservations about speaking to anyone,” he said before the event.

On being asked whether he would be speaking to Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state assembly V D Satheesan and Kerala PCC (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran at the event, Tharoor said that the latter was not well and would be participating via video conference.

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Regarding Satheesan, he said that “if we see each other at the venue, then we will see”.

“If they talk to me, will I not respond? We are not in kindergarten to refrain from talking or speaking to each other. But if we are not in the same place at the same time, how will we talk or speak to one another?” he asked.

Satheesan, without naming Tharoor, had recently said that any kind of sectarianism or parallel activities would not be allowed in the party and warned that such moves would be dealt with “seriously”.

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It was one of several remarks made by the LoP in the wake of Tharoor’s Malabar tour which seems to have rattled a significant section in Congress in the state with a few of them sensing an “agenda” behind his move.

Tharoor’s opponents in the party feel that through his programmes, he was trying to position himself as an ideal chief ministerial candidate of the Congress-led UDF for the 2026 Assembly polls to end the rule of the CPI(M)-led LDF, which has been in power since 2016.

In the wake of the brewing controversy over his recent tour, the disciplinary panel of KPCC, on Saturday, issued a strict directive to its leaders not to bypass the respective party forums while attending programmes in each place and directed the leaders to intimate them in advance.

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When this was pointed out to the Thiruvananthapuram MP by reporters on Sunday, he said that District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents are always informed whenever he attends any public event.

However, if it was a private event, there was no need to inform DCC presidents about the same, he added.

First published on: 27-11-2022 at 13:41 IST
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