Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor on Friday said only Congress can put up a good fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 general elections. Tharoor, however, also acknowledged that the grand old party has to “work a lot” it is necessary to form a mahagathbandhan or go to each state and form an alliance with the regional parties.
Addressing a press conference in Bhopal, Tharoor said the Congress should stop leaders from leaving the party, adding that “it is very necessary.”
He said he was gladdened by the reception he has got from partymen in Madhya Pradesh and admitted he did not get this kind of welcome in some states.
On Tharoor’s rival presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge getting support from several senior leaders of the party, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said, “I am not going to comment anything against Kharge. He is a very senior leader.”
He further said everyone must vote listening to their inner-self and no one has the right to tell anyone whom they should vote for.
Kharge is being seen as a favourite for the top party post because of his perceived proximity to the Gandhi family. But Tharoor has reiterated time and again that the Gandhis have made it clear that they will remain neutral. The Congress presidential poll will take place on October 17 and the results will be out on October 19.
Tharoor, on the Gandhi family, said they are loved by all. “It will be childish for any Congress president to keep himself away from the Gandhi family. We will work along with the Gandhi family.”
He also claimed that there is no difference between the BJP and its ideological wing Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.
On Thursday, seeking votes from delegates at the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee office, Tharoor said he wanted to bring a “change” in the organisation. He also said aimed to “bring back” the voters who did not support the Congress in the 2014 and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“I want to bring a change in the party. I want to bring back those voters who didn’t stand by our side in 2014 and 2019,” he told the delegates.
Acknowledging the “flaws in system” inside Congress, Tharoor said, the problem is that the party’s presidential elections didn’t happen since the last 22 years. He, however, maintained that the presidential election will be held in a “free and fair" manner and that there is no enmity with Kharge.
“This election is about two Congress members focusing to strengthen the party," he said.