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Beating on uneven pitch, Tharoor tells News18, remains at the forefront in search for Congress captaincy

Shashi Tharoor, one of the candidates fighting for the election for the post of congress president, reached Bihar’s capital, Patna, for the first time on Friday and met people in the historic Sadaqat Ashram. However, during this time, no senior Bihar Congress leader was seen either at the airport to receive him or elsewhere, which was unlike when the other claimed Mallikarjun Kharge arrived here on October 11.

CNN News18 managed to speak exclusively to Tharoor on Bihar soil.

When asked about the hook of his campaign, the legislator said: “Not the ideology, not our beliefs, not our values ​​or principles, but the way we operate, the way we run our party, may have the date of change achieved. Every institution at some point gets old and needs to be renewed and I try to reform and renew the Congress Party.”

Responding to reports of party members behaving in a biased way ahead of the October 17 election (votes will be counted on October 19), Tharoor said senior leaders have backed Kharge in most states, except recently in Madhya Pradesh. grouped. He also indicated that some leaders were trying to discourage voters from attending or even seeing him at his meetings. “There is a situation where it is easy to see the difference in the way one candidate is received and treated differently than another. There is no doubt that there are discrepancies. There are some challenges. I hit a field with a very uneven bounce. But I’m here to play the game and I will play under all circumstances,” he said.

Tharoor reiterated his statement that he and Kharge are colleagues and whoever wins would be the party’s victory. “The party needs to come out stronger, refreshed and with new energy. The amount of interest you have shown in the media and voters in the general public in recent weeks leading up to these elections is probably greater than what the Congress party has gotten in the past 8 years,” he said.

At a press conference in Patna, Tharoor said he and Kharge share the same ideology, but the way of working is different. Building on this, he said he has released a manifesto in which he talks about the change he would like to bring.

“Mr Kharge is very used to the way the party has historically functioned. I have a lot of respect for Kharge’s past functioning because the truth is that we have done well for a long time, we won the elections in 2004 and 2009 with that way of functioning,” he said. “Even things like that can come to an end, and when we get to a point where we find 8 or 9 extremely well-known national leaders leaving the party over the course of the last couple of years, something goes wrong for people who are putting their lives on the line. party to lose confidence in our party. And that’s why I say it’s the time to renew our own faith in ourselves and what we believe in and what we have to fight for in our country. It is time to energize our workers, take ownership of the party and act with confidence and courage.”

The Gandhis are indispensable assets for Congress, he said. “There is immense love and respect for the Gandhi family and the blood of the family has been mixed with the DNA of the Congress party for a century now. It would be foolish for a president to distance himself from the Gandhis,” Tharoor said.

When asked who would be the favorite among Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi as prime minister in 2024, Tharoor was quick to say that he would run for Congress.

“The logic of coalitions is that you consult others before announcing a choice for a key position. What was Sonia Gandhi doing then in 2004, when Congress returned after 10 years in the wilderness? She did not disclose the prime ministerial candidate. It was after the election results when the UPA came and asked her to essentially elect the leader, after which Manmohan Singh was elected with the consent of other members of the coalition,” he said.

Tharoor ended his interview with a quick response to the Congress’s persistent Bharat Jodo Yatra, saying it would contribute to the party’s vote share, which has stalled at around 19 percent in the last two parliamentary polls.

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