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Shashi Tharoor is campaigning in Thiruvananthapuram today; Will also visit Chennai, Mumbai?

Mallikarjun Kharge ruled out any ideological difference with him on Monday.

“Let me make it clear that I agree with Kharge ji that all of us in Congress want to fight against the BJP rather than against each other. There is no ideological difference between us,” Tharoor tweeted. “I believe we need a reinvented, redesigned Congress to tackle the BJP. That is why I have continued my candidacy in this election,” he told reporters in Hyderabad. Tharoor said he would not withdraw from the competition despite his respect for Kharge, as it would amount to betraying many colleagues who urged him to enter, a PTI report said.

However, no member of Telangana Pradesh’s congressional committee received Shashi Tharoor when he landed in Hyderabad on Monday, according to a Hindustan Times report. However, Tharoor said he was delighted to receive the approval of the acting president of the Telangana Congress, Mohammed Azharuddin. “…Azhar joins me in wanting change and reform in our party to better equip us to face the BJP,” he tweeted. He said it would be the biggest win for the Congress party, regardless of who emerges victorious.

Tharoor also called the G-23 Group a “media creation”. He said only 23 people were available to sign, supporting them because of the Covid-induced lockdown. “That’s why 23 signed. It could have been 100. It could have been less, it could have been more. These were the people who were available to sign,” he told media on Monday.

Tharoor also said there is no need to debate as they both agree on the party’s fundamental commitment to the ideas of India and the ideals enshrined in the constitution, he said. When asked about the Gandhi family’s neutrality in the presidential election, he said they welcomed a free and fair election and would remain neutral.

Responding to the possibility of a Dalit leader (Kharge) becoming president of Congress, he said he sees Kharge as a very great leader who goes far beyond any question of caste identity. He said he would contact voting delegates across the country as soon as their phone numbers are available on Wednesday.

The Congressional presidential election is scheduled for October 17. The vote counting was scheduled to take place on October 19 and results are expected the same day.

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