Congress has space for everyone, not divisive forces: VD Satheesan

V D Satheesan. Photo: Manorama Online.

Thiruvanthapuram: Kerala's Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said on Tuesday that the Congress party has space for everyone while referring to Shashi Tharoor's Malabar tour.

“But the Congress does not have the strength to face parallel, divisive forces now. If anyone attempts to weaken the party that will not be tolerated,” Satheesan added.

"The KPCC President has made it very clear. Everyone has space for their work in Congress. We need a united leadership. There is nothing beyond the KPCC President's word when in comes to Congress party's work," he said.

The Congress leader added that the media headlines had a specific agenda and that Congress leadership was not a balloon which would burst when inflated.

"The media is crossing ethical boundaries," he said.

"Some individuals are attempting to divide the party. You should examine if the Thiruvananthapuram MP has participated in the various Congress strikes held in the capital city," he added.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday, while continuing his Malabar tour, met senior leaders of UDF-ally IUML at Panakkad and also said that he fears no one and there is no reason for anyone to fear him.

In response to a query by the media as to who was afraid of his tour in Kerala, Tharoor said, "I do not fear anyone and there is no need for anyone to be afraid of me."

His remarks assume significance amidst speculation that some of the Congress leadership in Kerala appear to be apprehensive over the increasing support he was enjoying and the emergence of a 'Tharoor group' within the party in the state.

Tharoor, however, downplayed his meeting with the IUML leaders at the residence of Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal by saying that it was just a courtesy call on the way to an event in the district.

Other senior Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leaders present there also termed his visit as nothing unusual and said they all go and meet Thangal whenever they pass through the area.

The MP from Thiruvananthapuram, also accompanied by his staunch supporter and MP M K Raghavan, also told reporters that he has no intention or interest in creating a group.

After meeting Tharoor, Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal said that his family has had close relations with the MP ever since he came to Kerala.

Tharoor's Malabar tour appears to have rattled a significant section in Congress in Kerala with a few of them sensing an "agenda" behind the Thiruvananthapuram MP's move.

Tharoor's opponents in the party feel that through his programmes he was trying to position himself as an ideal Chief Ministerial candidate of the Congress-led UDF for the 2026 Assembly polls to end the rule of the CPI(M)-led LDF in the state.

Congress MP K Muraleedharan, former president of the KPCC and son of legendary Congress leader K Karunakaran, also indicated as much when he on Monday said that the restriction on Congress members participating in an event to which Tharoor was invited may have been imposed by some who desire to be the party's chief minister candidate in Kerala and may have been feeling threatened by Tharoor's activities in the state

(With PTI inputs.)

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