Voicing strong support for Shashi Tharoor in the Congress presidential poll, party MP Karti Chidambaram on Saturday said the former diplomat's pragmatic modernism coupled with his appeal beyond the party is crucial to fight against the BJP's "divisive politics".
Chidambaram also asserted that business as usual will not help the Congress and there is an urgent need for reformist thinking in the party.
"I support Shashi Tharoor for Congress President. His pragmatic modernism coupled with his appeal beyond the party, is crucial to fight BJP's divisive politics," the MP from Tamil Nadu's Sivaganga said.
"Status quo and business as usual won't help our party. There's an urgent need for reformist thinking in our party," said Chidambaram, who was among those who signed Tharoor's nomination forms for the Congress presidential polls as proposers.
Responding to a social media user who claimed that Tharoor is everything that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) propagates as "English-enabled privileged elitism", Chidambaram asked since when was proficiency in a language considered to be a disadvantage and a liability.
"Shashi Tharoor appeals to an audience well beyond the party faithful. Congress needs that now. His success is due to his own academic achievements, which aspirational India admires," he said.
Tharoor is set to take on veteran Congress leader from Karnataka Mallikarjun Kharge for the party's top post. The Congress is set to vote for its new president on October 17. The results will be announced on October 19.
It will be the first time in more than 24 years that a non-Gandhi will occupy the top party post.
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