Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday congratulated his opponent Mallikarjun Kharge who defeated him in the election for Congress president, but tempered the greeting by raising concerns about an “uneven” playing field.
Calling Mr Kharge’s victory “a victory of the Congress”, he said the Congress presidential election has energised party workers to take on the challenge the BJP poses in upcoming elections.
“This augurs well for the Congress. We will move forward from here. Our workers have been energised to take on the challenge posed by the BJP, and I am also confident that our party will display its strength,” said Mr Tharoor, who got 1,072 votes against Mr Kharge’s 7,897.
“This is not an issue about an individual. I only wish that the party is strengthened. For a stronger India, you need a stronger Congress,” he said.
Mr Tharoor expressed hope Mr Kharge will implement the provisions of the Congress constitution that mandates election to the Congress Working Committee. He added that he was never a candidate of dissent, but for change.
“I did not pitch myself as a candidate of dissent but change. But change in the manner in which we will do our regular work. There was need for opening up access to party workers. I would stress it is not so much about dissent, but how to make a good party better. We have the conviction and values that are right for the country. There was a sense of disconnect on the part of workers. I hope the election has contributed to giving them a sense of involvement,” he said.
“When you find yourself playing on an uneven pitch you still have to bat and I have been batting. For the most part, we had no complaints. The result was pretty decisive. We put forward the best account of ourself and it was not good enough to carry the day,” Mr Tharoor said.