Shashi Tharoor files nomination, confident of retaining his three-time seat in direct fight with BJP

Tharoor said he was sure about victory and that the fight in Thiruvananthapuram is mainly between the Congress and BJP.


Published Apr 03, 2024 | 7:44 PMUpdatedApr 03, 2024 | 7:44 PM

Shashi Tharoor

Senior Congress leader and three-time Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor filed his nomination on Wednesday, 3 April, from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency for the fourth consecutive time in the Lok Sabha elections.

Tharoor arrived at the district collectorate in the afternoon along with senior party leaders, including MLA M Vincent, former minister VS Sivakumar, Thiruvananthapuram DCC president Palode Ravi, and party workers.

Though a march was scheduled from nearby Kudappanakunnu junction to the Collectorate ahead of filing nomination, it was cancelled later.

Tharoor shook hands with people and exchanged pleasantries while proceeding to the Collectorate complex. Some party activists draped shawls around him and expressed their support.

With senior CPI leader and former Thiruvananthapuram MP Pannian Raveendran and BJP leader and Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar as Tharoor’s challengers in the fray, the high-profile Thiruvananthapuram constituency is set for a fierce battle in the crucial polls this time.

Also Read: Kerala Minister K Radhakrishnan, Annie Raja file nomination for Lok Sabha polls

‘Sure of victory’

The nomination process took nearly an hour, after which a “confident” Tharoor happily addressed the media, saying he was sure about victory and that the fight in Thiruvananthapuram is mainly between the Congress and BJP.

“There is no doubt about the first place and the only debate is who is going to be the second. Though it is considered a three-cornered fight, I think now the fight is more between Congress and BJP,” Tharoor said.

Stressing the significance of the election, the Congress leader said this election is in many ways going to determine the future of India, and what kind of country we want our children to grow up in.

“We are seeing some constitutionally dubious and democracy-threatening actions by this government (at the Centre) in recent months and years. We need to completely reverse the course, and bring back the democracy that the people of India need,” Tharoor said.

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi files nomination papers, says Wayanad “is my home”

Takes dig at Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Taking a dig at his rival candidate, Rajeev Chandrasekhar of BJP, he said it is a pity that the Union minister is not participating in debates with other candidates.

“When I came in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections for the first time like him, I participated in 11 debates. I believe it’s a very healthy way of facing questions of the public and journalists and giving them full answers. So it’s a pity that he’s not doing that,” Tharoor said.

The Congress leader alleged that Chandrasekhar has been making rash promises that he cannot fulfil.

Before filing his nomination, Tharoor offered prayers at famed shrines in the constituency, including Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple and Pazhavangadi Ganapathi Temple.

Tharoor, who is a former UN diplomat, began his journey in electoral politics, winning the Thiruvananthapuram seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. He scored a hat-trick in the 2019 general election by securing a margin of 99,989 votes over his nearest rival.

Polling will be held on 26 April in Kerala for all 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

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