Congress MP Shashi Tharoor sought to know on Wednesday how his participation in events and meetings with some prominent persons in Kerala, along with MP MK Raghavan, could be perceived as sectarian, saying he was “a bit annoyed” about the issues being raised in the media were created.
A day after state assembly opposition leader VD Satheesan said any form of sectarianism or parallel activities would not be allowed in the party and warned that such moves would be taken “seriously”, Tharoor questioned how the activities of the two congressional MPs could be seen as sectarian.
Speaking to reporters in Kannur after meeting with Thalassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany, Tharoor said he was saddened to hear through the media that some said he and Raghavan indulged in such activities. “You (media) didn’t come here to fill a balloon with air I hope. As for what you are asking about some of the people saying me and Raghavan are indulging in sectarian activities, we’re sorry to hear that if you look at the different people we’ve met and the programs we’ve attended, what were the sectarian activities? I’d like to know.
“What did we say that violated Congressional guidelines? What mistake did we make? But I’m a little annoyed, because there was no need to create problems in the media. I’m ready to give the needle if the media wants it.’ a pinprick.
Although media persons repeatedly asked if Tharoor was a “blow-up balloon”, he declined to comment.
Satheesan’s balloon comment has also not found favor with Congressman K Muraleedharan, who said it was “not required”.
Raghavan, a staunch supporter of Tharoor, on the other hand said, “We respect everyone, including the balloon that bursts when pricked, the needle that pricks it and the hand that holds the needle.” Tharoor, while speaking to reporters in Kannur, also hinted at the massive support he enjoys by saying that it was no problem for him to speak and speak all over Kerala as he gets around 40 event invites a week, and wondered why anyone was concerned about two Congress MPs attending events, they weren’t anti-Party.
“It is not possible to attend all of them (invitations). This time Raghavan suggested to unite everything and hold some events in this area of Malabar as it has been a long time since we came here and I agreed.
“However, I don’t understand who is in trouble and why when two Congress MPs speak at party related and other events but not against anyone in the party or its views,” said the Thiruvananthapuram MP, but added that he has no complaints. .
He went on to say that he has no disagreements with anyone and that he has not spoken ill to anyone in his 14-year political career.
“I never speak ill of anyone, I have no disagreements with anyone, and I am not afraid of anyone. I would be happy if others were like that with me,” he said.
Congressman K Muraleedharan, former president of the KPCC and son of legendary congress leader Karunakaran, meanwhile, continued to throw his weight behind Tharoor.
Muraleedharan, told reporters in Kozhikode that Tharoor has not spoken out against a congress leader nor has he formed a group within the family.
He said the Thiruvananthapuram MP is well represented in Kerala politics and questioning his activities would amount to handing ammunition to Congress opponents, especially when the parliamentary elections are two years away.
“If you look at short-term benefits, there would be a loss in the long run,” Muraleedharan said.
He also advised against underestimating anyone.
“If you underestimate someone, you can end up in the same situation as Lionel Messi and Argentina, who lost to Saudi Arabia yesterday.” Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi set out to investigate why and on whose directions the Kozhikode event was called off by the district youth convention that organized it and invited Tharoor to it.
He also said that he and Tharoor did not engage in any sectarian activity nor were they against anyone.
“That is our policy. We do what we do to strengthen Congress. We do not carry out anti-party activities,” Raghavan said.
Archbishop Pamplany told reporters after meeting Tharoor that it was just a courtesy call and no politics were discussed.
However, he did say, in response to media inquiries, that if someone of Tharoor’s caliber takes a leadership position in the center or in Kerala, it would only benefit the people.
Tharoor’s Malabar tour appears to have shocked a significant portion of Congress in the state, with a few of them feeling an “agenda” behind his move.
His opponents in the party feel that his programs were trying to position himself as an ideal prime ministerial candidate of the Congress-led UDF for the 2026 parliamentary elections to end the rule of the CPI(M )-led LDF, which has been in power in the state since 2016.
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