Mallikarjun Kharge, ruled out any ideological difference with him on Monday.
“Let me make clear that I agree with Kharge ji that all of us in the Congress wish to take on the BJP rather than each other. There is no ideological difference between us,” Tharoor tweeted. “I believe we need a reinvented, reimagined Congress to take on the BJP. That’s why I have continued with my candidacy in this election,” he told reporters while in Hyderabad. Tharoor said he would not withdraw from the contest despite his respect for Kharge as that would amount to betrayal of many colleagues who urged him to contest, a PTI report said.
However, no member of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee received Shashi Tharoor as he landed in Hyderabad on Monday, a Hindustan Times report said. However, Tharoor said he was delighted to receive the endorsement of Telangana Congress working president Mohammed Azharuddin.? “…Azhar joins me in wanting change & reform in our party so as to better equip us to take on the BJP,” he tweeted. He said that irrespective of who emerges victorious, it would be the biggest victory for the Congress party.
Tharoor also called the G-23 Group a “media creation”. He said only 23 people were available to affix their signatures, backing them due to 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 the media on Monday.
Tharoor also said there is no need to debate because they both agree on the party’s fundamental commitment to the ideas of India and the ideals enshrined in the Constitution, he said. To a question on the Gandhi family being neutral vis-a-vis the presidential election, he said they welcome a free and fair election and that they would stay neutral.
Reacting to a possibility of a Dalit leader (Kharge) becoming Congress president, he said he sees Kharge as a very great leader well beyond any question of caste identity. He said he would reach out to the voting delegates across the country once their phone numbers are available on Wednesday.
The polling for the Congress presidential election is scheduled to be held on October 17. The counting of votes would be taken up on October 19 and the results are expected the same day.
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