Malappuram: Thiruvananthapuram MP and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said the next Kerala Assembly election wasn't for another three years and termed as irrelevant the discussions regarding his chief ministerial candidature.
He added that at present, Kerala has a chief minister and an elected government with a good majority.
Amid reported discontent within the Congress party over his reaching out to influential religious and community leaders, Tharoor made it clear that he never sought an appointment to meet any of them.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP said he met some of them recently as they called him and expressed interest to meet him.
Tharoor's statement also came a day after the Congress central leadership clarified that it was not proper for any MPs to make statements on their candidature and that Congress has its own organisational mechanism to choose its candidates.
"I don't understand why you (media) are discussing about the chief ministerial candidature now. From the very beginning itself, I have made it clear that there is no relevance for such discussion at present. You have to wait till 2026 (for the next Assembly polls)," Tharoor told reporters here.
The assembly poll is three years away, there is the Lok Sabha polls in 2024 and the party and the people will decide what to do, he said.
"As a political representative, we have to be ready for everything," the Lok Sabha member explained.
Asked whether he is waiting till 2026 (for asserting his role as the chief minister candidate of the Congress-led UDF), the leader, in a diplomatic manner, said let him live in the present year, then in 2024 and 2025 and then one can think about 2026.
While pointing out the criticisms from within the party about his meeting some religious and community leaders recently, Tharoor said he always maintains a good relationship with everyone and he won't say no when they invite him for a meeting.
"I have not sought an appointment to meet any individual. In the case of all community leaders whom I have met, they called me and wanted me to meet them," he added.
Amidst reported indication of several party MPs including Tharoor shifting their focus to state politics, AICC general secretary in-charge of Kerala, Tariq Anwar on Wednesday said it was not proper for the MPs to make statements about their candidature on their own.
(With PTI inputs)