Senior Congress leader and former UN secretary general Shashi Tharoor, on Monday, said that he is ready to take charge to be the Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha if the party offers him the responsibility. While been asked in a television interview, Tharoor said, “I am ready but I cannot appoint myself. The party leadership and the president would decide who among the 52 MP’s have what they need. They may be looking for qualities which I don’t have or for qualities that I have. They know me well for ten years. I can put my talents in the service of the party”.
He also insisted that Rahul Gandhi should continue as the Congress President. “The party could consider appointing a series of regional working presidents to assist him,” the former Union Minister said.
Tharoor added that Rahul Gandhi himself could take up the leadership in Lok Sabha and speak from the platform of the House directly against PM Narendra Modi. He said the post would come to others only if Rahul found that he would not be able to find time to discharge his duties – both as Congress chief and Lok Sabha leader.”I would relish such an opportunity if it is given to me”, he said.
Tharoor also accepted the Congress’ main election theme ‘NYAY’ was not properly communicated among the electorate and criticized Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi’s “soft Hindutva” plank.
Shashi Tharoor has been representing Trivandrum since 2009. In 2014, he won by a narrow margin of 15,000-odd votes against BJP veteran O. Rajagopal. In 2019, he defeated Kummanam Rajasekharan of the BJP by 99,989 votes.