Tharoor may find it hard to gain support in Keralatext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Senior Congress leader Sashi Tharoor will in all probability find it tough to garner enough supporters from his home state in Kerala in his bid to contest as a candidate in the forthcoming organizational election to elect a new AICC president.
Tharoor who always kept a safe distance from the faction-ridden unit of the Congress in Kerala is finding it hard to make friends from either of the groups before the election. After Tharoor hinted at the possibility of contesting the election through articles and statements, he has been camping in the capital for exploring all possibilities.
Kerala is one of the few states where Congress still enjoys strong grassroots level organization. In addition, as the fact that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi represents Wayand in the parliament makes Kerala an important state for the national leadership.
According to the sources close to the MP, he has been contacting several leaders. In Kerala all factions swear by their loyalty to the High Command led by the Gandhi-Nehru clan.
K.C. Venugopal, Organizational General Secretary, known for his proximity to and clout with the Gandhi family, has strong supporters in the state. 'With both groups not showing enough interest in Tharoor's explorations he will have little chances', said a KPCC member seeking anonymity.
The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) members, party MLAs and MPs are keeping a safe distance form Tharoor to avoid any suspicions on the part of the group leaders and the big brothers in the high command, he added.
For filing the nomination paper as a candidate, one needs at least ten signatures of KPCC members. Since Tharoor represents Kerala in the Parliament, receiving enough support from his own state would be considered as his influence among leaders.
Though his chance of victory against any official candidate is slim, through his articles Tharoor is calling for free and fair election in the party. Representing Thiruvananthapuram in Lok Sabha since 2009, Tharoor was earlier known in the state's Congress circles as a high command man.
But after his association with the G-23 leaders asking for a more democratic space in the party, the local leaders started keeping a safe distance from him. He has also opposed the culture of nomination to important posts such as general secretaries.
Tharoor joined Congress in 2009 after losing his bid to become Secretary General of the United Nations.