New Delhi: Even as the Congress leadership in Kerala has reservations about the efforts of Shashi Tharoor, MP, to secure a prominent role in State politics, he has secured the backing of a few party peers from the State in the Lok Sabha. These MPs and even former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy are reportedly keen that he be inducted into the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
The trio — K Muraleedharan, Benny Behanan and M K Raghavan — met All-India Congress Committee President Mallikarjun Kharge the other day, demanding that Tharoor should not be sidelined.
They urged Kharge to accord Tharoor, who has wide acceptance among the voters, a prominent role in the party and not to sideline him. Their move is significant as the party is all set to conduct its plenary session which is aimed at reorganising it from top to bottom.
Raghavan, who is the Kozhikode MP, demanded that Tharoor should be given membership of the CWC or be entrusted with an important responsibility in the organisational hierarchy.
Kharge said that he would take a decision after holding discussions with other party leaders.
The plenary session will be held in Raipur in Chhattisgarh from February 24 to 26.
Chandy will not attend the session owing to poor health. He is currently hospitalised in Bengaluru after a health scare.
Chandy may also request the party leadership to excluded him from the CWC.
Reports say, Chandy is in favour of Tharoor taking his place in the CWC.
Another former CM AK Antony and AICC General Secretary (Organisation) K C Venugopal are the two other Congress leaders from Kerala who are currently members of the most significant party panel.
Tharoor may not contest
Sources close to Tharoor claimed he is unlikely to contest if there is an election to the CWC. Party sources, however, said former Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala may contest.
Chennithala fancies his chance with the support of party members who were associated with him at the national level since his days in the National Students Union (NSU) and Youth Congress.
The last CWC elections were conducted during the plenary session that took place in Kolkata in 1997. The CWC is the executive committee of the party.