Follow Us:

Tharoor questions accusation of factionalism against him

The Congress MP asked as to how his tour in Malabar and meeting with prominent persons can be construed as sectarianism and parallel activity in the party.

Statesman News Service | Thiruvananthapuram |

A day after senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly VD Sathhesan said any kind of sectarianism or parallel activities won’t be allowed in the party, party’s Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor asked as to how his tour in Malabar and meeting with prominent persons can be construed as sectarianism and parallel activity in the party.

Speaking to media persons in Kannur after meeting Thalassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany on Wednesday, Tharoor said he was “irritated” by the accusation of party leadership of indulging in “factionalism”.

“If you look at the various people we met and programmes we attended, what were the sectarian activities,” he asked.

Briefing about his schedules on Monday, Tharoor said he visited Muslim League leader Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal, DCC president in Malappuram, noted historian  MGS Narayanan, former minister Cyriac John, Civil Service Academy established in commemoration of Hyderali Shihab Thangal and attended a programme at a women’s College to interact with students on the topic of women empowerment. “Where is sectarianism in these programmes,” he asked.

“I do not understand who is troubled if two Congress MPs are speaking at party-related and other events, but not against anyone in the party or its views,” Tharoor said.

He also mocked VD Satheeshan by asking the reporters: “I hope you (media) have not come here to fill up balloons with air. I am ready to give the needle if the media wants that.”

Satheesan had said on Tuesday that “balloons inflated by the media will burst if pricked by a needle,referring to Tharoor’s popularity among the masses and allies in Malabar.

Congress MP from Kozhikode, MK Raghavan, who is coordinating Tharoor’s four day tour in Malabar, said, “We respect everyone, including the balloon which bursts on being pricked, the needle which pricks it, and the hand holding the needle.”

There is another faction that does not want to strengthen the KC Venugopal-VD Satheesan alliance It is indicated that the KPCC president K Sudhakaran’s thoughts are also in the same direction.

Reports from various parts of the state suggest that the diplomat-turned politician is getting wide traction among Congress workers.

In Kerala, while MPs MK Raghavan and K Muraleedharan openly support Tharoor, many senior leaders of Congress (A) and I groups secretly support Tharoor.

Youth leaders of both groups are supporting Tharoor, assuming that if Tharoor gets a stronghold in state politics; their future will be more secure.

There is another faction that does not want to strengthen the KC Venugopal-VD Satheesan alliance. It is indicated that the KPCC president’s thoughts also go with this group.

Meanwhile, the ‘A’ Group in Kottayam has planned a programme with Shashi Tharoor as its chief guest where he will attend the conference of the Youth Congress Kottayam district committee to be held on December 3 in Erattupetta.

 Earlier, Youth Congress  printed the poster of the event not featuring Opposition leader VD Satheesan’s picture. However, his picture was later inserted after the poster sparked a controversy.

In this connection, Tariq Anwar AICC general secretary who is in-charge of Kerala has said in New Delhi that Shashi Tharoor’s Malabar tour cannot be considered a move against the party.

He said that no complaint has been received against Tharoor and added that there is no immediate need for AICC to intervene  It is reported that Tariq Anwar, who will reach Kerala on Friday, will meet Congress leaders in Kozhikode.