Thiruvananthapuram: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who is seeking re-election from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, has written to the party high command complaining about the local party leaders’ lack of interest in his election campaign.
The two-time Congress MP is facing BJP leader and former Mizoram Governor Kummanem Rajasekheran and senior CPI legislator and former State Minister C.Divakaran for the seat.
According to sources, a third consecutive win for Tharoor is likely to kill the hopes of many Congress leaders, who have been eyeing the state capital for long. And chances are that their supporters and loyal cadres may work against Tharoor this time around, they said.
Some exit polls too are predicting a not so favourable outcome for Tharoor in the triangular contest.
Tharoor won his debut election in 2009 by three votes short of a lakh, but in 2014 his victory margin dipped to around 15,000 votes following the suspicious death of his wife.
This time, his flip-flop on the Sabarimala temple controversy has dented his traditional Nair community vote bank a little.
Tharoor, largely seen as an elite, anglicised outsider among the electorate, is also feeling the lack of a more coordinated campaign in the absence of local Congress MLA and veteran Congress leader K.Karunakaran’s son K.Muraleedharan, who has an extensive grassroots reach.
Muraleedharan was the party’s surprise choice for the Vadakara Lok Sabha seat in Kozhikode district, after State Congress Chief Mullapally Ramachandran bowed out from the contest.
According to sources, Tharoor has written to Congress Working Committee member A.K. Antony, AICC General Secretary in-charge of Kerala Mukul Wasnik and party organisation in-charge K.C.Venugopal complaining about lack of support from the local leaders and warned that the results could be detrimental if the campaign does not get a boost.
He however, downplayed the issue before reporters on Thursday, saying no candidate is ever satisfied with his campaign. “There is always a feeling that it should be more. But it’s natural,” he said.