The Congress MP, who was in Lucknow on Sunday to meet members of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC), will contest the election against veteran party leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
Speaking to UPCC officials, Tharoor said: “There are leaders who surrendered to ‘netagiri’ and claimed they know what Sonia Gandhi wants… secret ballot. No one would know who voted for whom.”
Speaking of Kharge, Tharoor said he is not against the veteran leader and pointed out that the two have been working in the party for years.
“Kharge sahab umeedwar bane.. humari party mein shayad 90 percent netritva unka sath hai (Kharge sahab is contesting the election…90 percent of our party leaders support him.) I see him as a friend and older brother. But our ‘sankalp’ (promises) and our way of working are different,” said the congressman from Thiruvananthapuram.
On his reason for contesting the election, he said: “There has been no election for the post of party chairman for 22 years. When the working committee decided that elections would be held and Rahul Gandhi decided that he would not participate in the polls. Then I started to think about whether I could do that for the future of the party… After many seniors and experienced leaders left the party, I realized that something was not right.”
He said that he had spoken to Sonia Gandhi about the election and that she made it clear that there would be no official candidate from the family (Gandhis) side.
Tharoor added that the country needed a strong congress and said he is contesting the polls for the future of the party and to show the people that the “party is ready to transform”.
He shared details of his pre-election manifesto and said he wants better communication between the central leadership and state units. “The state units should be given the opportunity to meet with the central leadership without an appointment,” he added. He also pledged to carry out the party’s Udaipur declaration of “one person, one post” if elected.