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‘From where will BJP get votes in South India?’: Shashi Tharoor

‘From where will BJP get votes in South India?’: Shashi Tharoor

Kochi: Minister of state for HRD Shashi Tharoor today said Congress is confident of running for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls on its own record and that it was time “to move away from the politics of identity to the politics of performance.”

Tharoor was responding to a question from reporters on whether alleged bickering in the BJP over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi elevation in the party was a godsend for the Congress.

“I don’t think Congress is going to worry about the problems in other parties. We are running on our record. Nine years of UPA rule has transformed India for the better. We will run on our record.”

“It is time to move away from the politics of identity to politics of performance. We want to run on our performance,” he said on the sidelines of a function here.

On the likelihood of Modi being made BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Tharoor said to become the PM, they should first win elections. “From where does the BJP hope to get votes from South India?,” he asked.

Karnataka, which was the lone state in the south to have been ruled by BJP, was now a Congress ruled state, he said.

Tharoor said this was like asking who would be staying on the first floor of a house even before it has been built.

Earlier, speaking at a function got up to honour over 1200 SSLC, CBSE, ICSE students from various schools in Ernakulam district who passed with flying colours in the exams, Tharoor said the dream of Kerala for IIT would be a ‘long journey’.

It has not been included in the 12th plan, but he was still trying for it, Tharoor said.

On elevation of Cochin University of Science and Technology as Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, he said he was confident it would materialise soon.

The function was held as part of the ‘Reach out’ programme of Hibi Eden, MLA.

Tharoor said India is a young nation with 65 per cent of people aged below 33 years and 55 crore below 25 years. About 25 crore are in 10-19 years category.

“This means in the next 30-40 years, India will have a dynamic productive working age population, unlike China and US and other nations,” he said.

There is need to bring in good policies, investments as economic growth was also essential, he said, adding that growth should also reach the lower strata of society.


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