“Congress needs to shape the national narrative in the right direction and resist powerful attempts made by the BJP to change it. We need to focus on activating our grassroot activism at the booth level,” Tharoor said at the launch of his book The Paradoxical Prime Minister Narendra Modi and His India. The event was organised by the All India Professionals Congress.
In a conversation with Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha, Tharoor said: “The Congress is in the process of preparing a well grounded manifesto and consultations are going on. The manifesto will be the party’s roadmap for governance and the focus will be on creating jobs.” He maintained that Congress is the only alternative to the “discredited” BJP.
Responding to questions on the state of affairs of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Tharoor admitted that the leadership in the two states do not have the connect with the people as was the case in states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
“Congress is not the principal Opposition to the BJP in these states. We have to be realistic and work within our limitations. We have to work with parties that are more powerful than us in these states, as our principal objective is to stop BJP in 2019. In the long term, we need to restore our connect with the people and should not rely on allies,” he said.
On Congress nominating Kamal Nath as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Tharoor said the Nath was not in a position of authority and not the CM of Delhi during the 1984 riots. “So far, no court has found any evidence against him. It is wrong to make judgements based on unsubstantiated and unproven allegations on Kamal Nath’s alleged involvement in the 1984 riots. The same benefit of doubt, which is given to Modi in Gujarat riots, has to be given to Kamal Nath,” he added.
Tharoor also said that the BJP has lost an opportunity in Kashmir. “With its unholy alliance with PDP, the BJP had gained a foothold in Kashmir’s political space and stake in the government. They were in a perfect condition to work on serious initiatives. But the BJP missed the opportunity by indulging in petty politics. This is cause of dismay to all Indians,” he added.