As the Congress sets out for the presidential polls with a direct contest between Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge. Opening his election case Tharoor said that he represents change in the party which a leader like Mallikarjun Kharge can’t bring about.
The Congress MP, while speaking at party workers’ gathering at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial in Nagpur on Sunday, said that the Congress President’s polls are not a war, but only “he” can bring the required changes in the party. “We are not enemies, it’s not war. Some people are saying that Kharge Ji is a senior leader, and why don’t I get out of the race for him? I respect Kharge Ji, but it’s a poll for our party’s future. There are differences in the way we want to take the party forward,” Tharoor said.
“Kharge Ji is a part of our leadership, and other than the Gandhi family he is among the top three leaders of the Congress party. But leaders like him can’t bring change and will continue the existing system. I will bring the change as per the expectations of party workers,” Tharoor further said.
Earlier on Saturday, Tharoor stressed that the contest between him and Kharge is “not a battle” and it is all upon the Congress workers to choose between the two.
“This isn’t a battle…Let party workers choose, that’s our message. I’m saying that if you’re satisfied with the party’s work, vote for Kharge Sahab. If you want a change, I’m there. But there’s no ideological problem. There will not be any change in the message of the Congress party,” he said.
Noting that the Central leadership in the party is taking all the decisions, Tharoor emphasized on giving rights to the lower levels of the organization to take decisions.
“All the decisions are being taken in New Delhi these days. It would be good for the party if the right to take decisions is given to the grassroots at the levels of the blocks, Zilla and states,” he said.
Notably, in the manifesto released by Tharoor soon after filing his nomination, he mentioned the need for “decentralization” in the party.
The results of the party polls will be declared on October 19.