BJP, Left among others wanted me to join them: Tharoor

BJP, Left among others wanted me to join them: Tharoor

BJP, Left among others wanted me to join them: Tharoor

Asserting that he is in the "right party", Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today said he had chosen Congress from among the major political outfits, including the BJP and the Left, which had approached him to join them after he left services at the United Nations.

"... it gets asked often and almost no day goes by on social media without somebody asking that question. Let me tell you when I decided to leave the UN, in fact shortly after I stepped back from the race for the secretary general, it is true that every major political formation in this country approached me," Tharoor said in response to a question if he was the "right man in the wrong party".

"I was approached by a BJP former minister in the Vajpayee government who came to see me at my office in New York. I was approached by some one from the Left in Trivandrum (Thiruvanathapuram), and I was approached by my own party, what became my own party," claimed Tharoor, who had joined the Congress in 2009.

The two-time Thiruvananthapuram MP was responding to questions after delivering a keynote address on the topic 'India in today's networked world' at the Indian Institute of Management-Bengaluru's first global alumni conclave and leadership summit 'IIMBUE' here.

Pointing out that he has attacked all parties equally as a writer, Tharoor said he had been a fierce critic of the Emergency, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the Babri Masjid demolition and the rise of Hindutva politics.

Speaking further if he was in the "wrong party," Tharoor said the Congress of 2009 and 2014 was certainly not the Congress of 1977 which "I could not have voted for".

He added that "parties evolve; they do come up with new personas and new vision. There are good people in the party; there is talent pool in the Congress party."

Listing out the reasons for choosing Congress, he said there were three broad tendencies in the country, especially from the point of view of potential Kerala politics.

"One is a group of people who speak in terms of 'India shining' without really asking who India is shining for. The second are the group of people who say they are for the poor, but consistently oppose every progressive reform or policies that can increase the prosperity of the country and stop poor from being poor because that will not suit their political interest," he said.

"In the middle was a party that had given us the Liberalisation of 1991, taken economic reforms forward also the spirit of social justice... ." he added.

Speaking about the 'Politics of Accountability', Tharoor said he chose to contest for Lok Sabha, and not from Rajya Sabha because he would have been merely seen as a government-appointed "parachute".

When it comes to political choices, ultimately there will be no perfection and no party where every one agrees and is hundred per cent accurate, the former minister of state for external affairs said.

"You take a broader verification, you say these are the values that matter to me are non-negotiable and if those values are present in the particular party, even if some things are there which you don't like you feel it professional... " he added.

Signalling at the lack of "talent pool" on the government benches, Tharoor said it was slightly alarming how little talent there has been in the Cabinet that has been ruling for the past 18 months.

On being in Congress, he added: "to my mind I'm in the right party, whether I'm the right man that's for you to judge."

Responding to a question on the present NDA government bringing back black money, Tharoor said what the current government has brought back is the money that the previous government was already in the course of getting back.

"The procedures that had already begun was continued by the present government...," he said.

Tharoor also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, saying they had not fulfilled the poll promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh in every Indians account by bringing back black money stashed abroad.

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