Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was asked by the party’s student wing NSUI to address a campaign event in Gujarat but declined as his name was not on the star campaigners’ list of the party for the assembly polls in the state, sources said on Wednesday.
Tharoor’s name does not feature in the list of 40 star campaigners for the party that included the likes of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Among the other star campaigners listed by the party are Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, CLP leader in Kerala Ramesh Chennithala, former chief ministers Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath, Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Ashok Chavan.
Asked if he was disappointed over his name not featuring on the list, Tharoor told PTI, “The Congress knows who or what is best for it, so the question of disappointment is irrelevant." Tharoor had lost to Kharge in the party’s presidential poll last month but had secured over 1,000 votes out of the more than 9,000 votes cast.
The National Students Union of India (NSUI) had invited Tharoor for the event in Gujarat but sources close to him said he had to decline as his name was not there on the star campaigners’ list.
In the past, Tharoor has campaigned for the party in Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai in 2014 and 2019; in Kerala Assembly elections in 2011, 2016 and 2021; local self-government elections in Kerala in 2010, 2015 and 2020; and most recently in the Noida by-election for Pankhuri Pathak.
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