Congress MP Shashi Tharoor will start his campaign for the party president’s election by visiting the Deekshabhoomi monument here on Saturday. Tharoor will pay his tributes at Deekshabhoomi, where Dr B R Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with his followers in 1956, on Saturday, said Maharashtra Congress leader Ashish Deshmukh.
Deshmukh has organised the Thiruvananthapuram MP’s visit here.
Tharoor, 66, filed his nomination for the Congress president’s election in Delhi on Friday.
As per the schedule of his visit, Tharoor will land at the Nagpur airport at 4.50 pm on Saturday. From there, he will leave for Deekshabhoomi here where he will pay his tributes to Dr Ambedkar and later address a press conference.
On Sunday, Tharoor will visit Mahatma Gandhi’s Sewagram Ashram at Wardha at 9 am and later go to Vinoba Bhave’s Ashram in Pavnar. He will return to Nagpur by 12.45 pm and hold meetings with senior Congress leaders, the party’s state unit members and workers. Deshmukh said, ”Tharoor is a popular Congress MP who has done remarkable work for the country at the international level. The election for Congress president is an important step for decentralization in the party.” Deshmukh also claimed that Congress delegates in 12 states have openly backed Tharoor and he is getting the support of party leaders and activists from all over India. The stage was set on Friday for a contest between Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge for the Congress president’s post with the latter emerging as the clear favourite. The third candidate in the fray, K N Tripathi, a former minister in Jharkhand, is considered a lightweight for the contest.
Kharge, Tharoor and Tripathi filed their nominations on the last day on Friday. Over 9,100 delegates are eligible to cast their votes in the October 17 election. The result will be announced on October 19.
Tharoor was a part of the Congress’s G-23 group that demanded an organisational overhaul and elections at all levels of the party.
On Friday, he had called his electoral competitor Kharge as a ”candidate of continuity” and of ”status quo”. He also ruled out withdrawing from the contest, stressing that he has not taken the trouble of filing the nomination only to opt out later.