November 25, 2022
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM – Shashi Tharoor’s Malabar tour has created ripples in Congress politics in Kerala. He demonstrated to the party that he is not a Congress leader with no grassroots backing, as some leaders in Congress in the state might be thinking.
While many of the senior leaders of Congress came out against Tharoor, it is the youths who are attracted towards the wave created by him in Congress politics in Kerala. The success of his tour has given much energy to the Tharoor camp for planning their future actions.
His camp, headed by MK Raghavan Congress Kozhikode MP, is elated over the success of the tour of the diplomat-turned-politician in Malabar. They expect that this success will reverberate in other parts of the state too
Tharoor’s visit to Malabar is being considered a prelude to his attempts to focus more on state politics after he created a sensation by contesting the Congress presidential poll. Political observers say there are a lot of people in the Congress who wish to see Tharoor becoming the official chief ministerial candidate of the Congress-led UDF in the 2026 Assembly elections. They say that the success of Tharoor’s Malabar tour has increased the possibility of Tharoor becoming the CM candidate of the UDF in the next Assembly polls.
Tharoor is now moving cautiously to avoid disciplinary actions by the party. In his meetings and press conferences, he doesn’t make any comment against Congress leaders or party policies and ideologies.
Shashi Tharoor’s biggest success in the Malabar tour was that he was able to garner the support of the Muslim League. The Muslim League is of the opinion that the Congress must utilise Tharoor’s service as a leader more and also put him in the political frontline. The League considers Tharoor as a popular leader whom the people look up to eagerly.
The Nair Service Society (NSS) is also planning to host Tharoor as the chief guest at the Mannam Jayanthi (Birthday of NSS founder leader Mannath Padmanabhan) celebrations this year. This is an indication that some misunderstandings that the NSS harboured at the time when Tharoor entered politics has been cleared up.
Youth leaders of both ‘A’ and ‘I’ groups in Congress are supporting Tharoor. The Youth Congress Kottayam district committee has planned a programme with Shashi Tharoor as its chief guest on December 3 in Erattupetta. In Pathanamthitta, Tharoor will be the main speaker at the Bodhigram Youth Conclave, organised by John Samuel who heads the public policy wing of the KPCC, on December 4.
Political observers feel that Opposition leader V D Satheesan’s attack on Tharoor has only strengthened Tharoor’s position in Congress. It has been reported that his remark ridiculing Tharoor hasn’t gone down well with many Congress leaders. A large section within the Congress feels that he should not have made such comments against Tharoor, who is soft spoken and always avoided harsh words against political opponents too. It is after Satheesan’s statement against Tharoor that former KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran and K MuralidharanMP came in support of Tharoor.