With just a week left for Karnataka elections, the Congress party has brought out all its big guns. MP Shashi Tharoor is the latest leader to have joined the campaign trail in the state, which goes to polls on May 12. The MP from Thiruvananthapuram, who is known for his impeccable oratory skills in English, has been leading the Congress campaign in Bengaluru areas, which houses a significant population of educated voters.
The BJP leaders have been prophesying the end of the Congress party in the country due to Rahul Gandhi’s alleged lack of leadership qualities. Just days ago, Union Minister Ananth Kumar during a campaign trail in Bilgi in Bagalkot, reportedly said the BJP’s Congress-mukt Bharat (Ridding India of Congress) mission will come true because of Rahul.
Tharoor wondered as to why Rahul Gandhi is being made as an issue in this election. “As far as this election in Karnataka is concerned, it is the Congress’ record of Siddaramaiah government of last five years is the real issue. Rahul Gandhi was not the minister in this government. They can take whatever issues they want with him but we have demonstrated to the people of Karnataka on record. And we are asking to support us on the basis of that,” he told The Indian Express.
The Congress MP suggested that it is only a matter of time before the BJP’s efforts to project Rahul as the weak link of the party begins to lose steam.
“Second, nationally, Rahul Gandhi has a lot of good qualities that are becoming more and more apparent to the voters. And I’m confident that as he goes out and interacts more with people, this is not going to be the line of argument they can easily take. In any case, why are we sitting here and debating about might-have-beens. Let’s see what the voters say. I believe the voters have a very clear choice before them and their votes will give you the hints,” he added.
Tharoor also slammed the BJP for making issues out of non-issues, while asserting that the Congress has kept its campaign positive and focused on real issues that matter to the common people.
“I think our basic message is a positive message. It is we have done everything we promised we would do. 95 percent is fulfilled, 5 percent is in progress. ‘Give us another chance to do better because we will serve you well’. That’s the core message of the Congress party in Karnataka,” he said.
“The allegations that have been made, by and large, are trivial issues about history, Tipu Sultan, about the pronunciation of a name and this sort of stuff. It is not actually about the real issues that affect the real life of ordinary people. We are much more focused on what really affects people and they (BJP) are trying to focus on the marginal issues. I don’t think we have to react on all of them all the time,” he reasoned.