Tharoor rules out withdrawing from AICC race

HYDERABAD: Shashi Tharoor, the Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP contesting for the post of president of the party, on Monday said there was no question of him withdrawing from the contest saying he cannot betray his colleagues.

Tharoor, who is currently campaigning in Hyderabad for the AICC chief’s post against Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge, said to withdraw “would be to betray the very many colleagues from across the country who spontaneously came forward and asked me to contest. Most of them are ordinary party workers. I will not let them down”.

When asked why TPCC president A. Revanth Reddy could not meet him, the Thiruvananthapuram MP stated that he had received an invitation from Revanth Reddy to visit his home, but a family bereavement caused a change in the his schedule. "I will gladly meet with him at any time, and if invited to the TPCC office, I will go," he said.

On the Telangana Congress leadership deciding to throw all its weight behind Kharge, who is the only other contestant in the Congress presidential polls, Tharoor said it will be up to the delegates to decide who they want to vote for.

“The party’s election authority has already said that there can be no directive to the delegates to vote for a particular candidate. If that happens with a PCC resolution, then that will not be acceptable to the party,” he said.

He said Kharge was a party leader who everyone in the Congress respected, but these elections are about how the Congress can best prepare to face the formidable challenge of the ruling BJP, which has won two elections. "And we know that unless we attract voters away from the BJP, we will fail," he said.

Emphasising the need for a reinvigorated Congress to take on the ruling BJP at the centre, he remarked, “The Congress, he said, needs an invigoration to take on this challenge. The only difference is how we do it, Kharge has his vision, I have mine and we will let the delegates choose,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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