`Malabar tour' controversy unnecessary; will spend more time in Kerala, says Shashi Tharoor

KA Johny

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Shashi Tharoor | Videograb

Kozhikode: MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday said that the controversy surrounding his ‘Malabar tour’ was unnecessary as there was nothing "unusual" about his visits.

“I met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge saab after the presidential election. I said I would always be available as a Congress MP. However, they never sought my service after that, even for the Assembly elections underway. So I thought why not spend more time in Kerala? Besides, I have been receiving a lot of invitations from Kerala,” he said while talking to mathrubhumi.com.

“I have been to all districts across Kerala over the years as an MP from the state. I never thought this tour would create issue. In the past 10 years, I have delivered speeches in Kozhikode DCC at least five times. This time, it was coordinated by MK Raghavan MP. I am a Congressman speaking at a Congress event about party values. There is nothing to be afraid of,” the Thiruvananthapuram MP said.

On Raghavan's demand for a probe into the controversy surrounding the visit, Tharoor said, “Raghavan has sought an inquiry into the withdrawal of the Youth Congress from the scheduled event in Kozhikode. It was agreed upon by the party leadership. Why would any Congress leader worry about getting a stage for another Congress leader? So, I supported Raghavan’s call for a probe.”

Tharoor added that he has been getting overwhelming support from party members. “What I see in the events is that people are accepting the principles of Congress party,” he said.

Regarding the presidential election, Sonia Gandhi had told Tharoor that his candidature had strengthened the party. “If you keep aside your personal opinions, you can see that the party received maximum positive coverage during the presidential election in the last eight years. We should realise that inner party democracy is good for us,” Tharoor said.

Shashi Tharoor has been attending several events in north Kerala, signalling his active participation in state politics. This triggered internal fights in Congress, resulting in the Youth Congress backing off from a scheduled event of the MP. Several leaders came out in support and against the leader and KPCC president K Sudhakaran issued a statement barring public comments on the matter. Tharoor visited Muslim League leaders in Panakkad on Tuesday morning.

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