Shashi Tharoor challenged his more fancied opponent Mallikarjun Kharge for a public debate on the changes required to revive the grand old party, but the veteran Gandhi family loyalist declined the offer, saying he only knows how to do work.
“I only know how to work, give me an opportunity to do that,” he said, adding they don’t have to fight each other as their struggle is against the BJP. While Tharoor has already begun his campaign, Kharge will start today. He will be travelling along with Sonia Gandhi who is set to join the Bharat Jodo Yatra on October 6.
Kharge has emerged as a front-runner with several leaders backing him. Congress leaders Deepender Hooda, Syed Naseer Hussain and Gourav Vallabh on Sunday resigned as party spokespersons to campaign for Kharge. He also has the apparent backing of the party’s top two – interim chief Sonia Gandhi and the party’s face Rahul Gandhi – for the October 17 election. He had to enter the contest after the Gandhis’ first choice, Ashok Gehlot, dropped out to retain his post as Rajasthan CM.
Tharoor meanwhile, built upon his argument that, in the race for the Congress chiefship, it is only he who can be an agent of change. About his rival, veteran Mallikarjun Kharge, the 66-year-old former diplomat was rather direct. “Kharge ji comes in the top three leaders of the party. Leaders like him can’t bring in change and will continue the existing system. I’ll bring in change as per the expectations of party workers,” he was quoted as saying in Nagpur by ANI.
With inputs from News18