‘Won’t Base My Stand on Fake Contenders’: Shashi Tharoor to News18 on Lok Sabha Fight from Thiruvananthapuram – News18

Reported By: Pallavi Ghosh

Last Updated: March 03, 2024, 10:29 IST

Shashi Tharoor told News18 though he knows that the BJP may put up a fight, there will be voter fatigue. (File Photo)

Shashi Tharoor told News18 though he knows that the BJP may put up a fight, there will be voter fatigue. (File Photo)

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who has often being called an outsider by his own party colleagues, told News18 that he is not anxious about BJP’s resurgence in Kerala or Tamil Nadu. Tharoor said he has ‘earned respect and love of people’

Trained to negotiate crisis as a former UN under-secretary-general and diplomat, Shashi Tharoor will be fighting Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekar — BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala — for his fourth term.

In 2004, when Tharoor took the poll plunge, it was to use his stronger vocabulary carefully than being in the minefields of Bosnia. But he managed to not only defeat the then reigning champions but continued to hold on to the Lok Sabha seat despite the Left giving a tough fight to him, and infighting from the Congress where even today many consider him to be an outsider and maverick.

Tharoor lost the Congress presidential election against Mallikarjun Kharge in 2022 because he was not the favourite with many of his party colleagues who also labelled him as a “traitor”. But he put up a decent fight by securing 1,072 votes. He is also not trusted by many within his party, especially those from Kerala, because of his frequent praising of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies.

Tharoor told News18 in an interview that even though he knows that the BJP may put up a fight, there will be voter fatigue. “I am confident even though it’s my fourth term as I have a good track record of service to constituents and major development initiatives and consistent responsiveness to voters and their needs, I won’t base my stand on fake contenders; there have been contenders each time. Each has their own strengths and policies and so do I. We will let the voters judge who they want to represent in Parliament. As for the BJP mission in south, I am very confident that it will leave with zero in their report column. I am not anxious about any major BJP resurgence in either Kerala or Tamil Nadu. They have had some success in the recent past in Telangana and Karnataka but I am sure they will have less success this time. There is not such as anti-incumbency… Being familiar with a face you have seen on the ground for a long time might want you to see a change. But I have earned the affection of the people and their trust and I will never let them down.”

It’s over to the people now. The man, who has a way with words and his impeccable English, hopes that he has the last word in the battle this time in Thiruvananthapuram.