Tharoor on kerala story

It Is Not Our Kerala Story: Tharoor

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday reacted to the ongoing ‘The Kerala Story’ controversy on Twitter.

Taking to the microblogging site he shared the poster of the film and wrote, “It may be your Kerala story. It is not our Kerala story.”

‘The Kerala Story’ has become a topic for discussion around the numbers being exaggerated in the trailer of the film.

Helmed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, the film is all set to hit the theatres on May 5, 2023.

‘The Kerala Story’ stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Siddhi Idnani and Sonia Balani in the lead roles.

The trailer of Sen’s film ‘The Kerala Story’ came under fire as it claimed that 32,000 girls from the state went missing and later joined the terrorist group, ISIS.

Leader of Opposition in Kerala Legislative Assembly VD Satheesan recently said that the film ‘The Kerala Story’ should not be granted permission for screening.

“The film ‘The Kerala Story’ which falsely claims that 32,000 women in Kerala converted and became members of the Islamic State, should not be granted permission for screening. The trailer clearly shows what the film intends to say”, Satheesan said in a Facebook post.

He also alleged that the film is part of an attempt to implement Sangh Parivar’s agenda and create a social divide by casting a shadow of doubt over the minority groups.

“This is not an issue of freedom of expression but part of an attempt to implement the Sangh Parivar agenda to create a divide in the society by casting a shadow of doubt over the minority groups”, he said. (ANI)

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Tharoor on Mis governance In Bengaluru

Cong A Respectable Alternative To Misgovernance In Bengaluru: Tharoor

Hitting out at Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government in Karnataka, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said people of the poll-bound southern state have endured misgovernance in the last four years.

Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru on Sunday, Tharoor said when there is misgovernance and “there is nothing to see”, people inevitably wonder what they need the government for.
“When there is misgovernance and there is nothing to see, people inevitably wonder what they need the government for. People are interested very much in seeing the Congress as a respectable alternative to the misgovernance they’ve endured in the last 4 years,” said Tharoor.

He said there are essential needs of the people that have not been met by the BJP government and the Congress has already come up with specific promises to fulfil people’s needs.

The Congress MP said IT investment in the state has been plummeting for the last 3-4 years.

“Bengaluru has such great potential. It is so sad that the city, which was evidently the most favoured destination for IT investment till a few years ago, has seen investments plummeting over the last 3-4 years,” he said.

On Sharad Pawar’s statement that there was no need for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Hindenburg-Adani row, he said that NCP chief’s logic can be understood as the ruling party will have a 50 per cent majority in the panel, if one is formed to probe the claims against the Adani Group.

“His (Sharad Pawar) logic can be understood because the rule for constituting a JPC is that the ruling party will be part of it, and above 50 per cent of members in the JPC will be from the NDA, if one is formed. But we still want the Opposition to ask questions and seek answers and evidence through the JPC. The NCP stood with us in the Parliament and during our protest march to Vijay Chowk,” said Thaoor.

With the Karnataka Assembly polls drawing near, a meeting of senior Congress leaders regarding the selection of candidates for the Karnataka elections will be held at party president Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence this evening.

Rahul Gandhi is likely to attend this meeting.

The Congress is yet to announce the names of candidates for 58 seats.

The Congress, on March 25, announced its first list of 124 candidates for the Assembly polls. The list included former chief minister Siddaramaiah and the party’s state president DK Shivakumar.

Elections in Karnataka are slated to be held in a single phase on May 10 and the counting of votes will be held on May 13. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah will be contesting from the Varuna constituency while DK Shivakumar has been fielded in Kanakapura.

Siddaramaiah had expressed his interest to contest from the Kolar constituency but the Congress High Command instructed him to drop the plan following disagreements between the party’s local leaders in the constituency. The party has fielded M Roopakala from the Kolar Gold Field constituency.

The ruling BJP currently holds a majority in the Assembly with 119 seats while the Congress and the JD(S) have 75 and 28 seats respectively.

All three key political players in the state — BJP, Congress and the JD(S) — have been exchanging barbs as their poll campaign moves through the gears. The latter are attempting to corner the ruling BJP on the issue of corruption.

The model code of conduct is currently in force in the state. (ANI)

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Modi tributes to Stalwart

Modi Leads Tributes To Late Cricket Stalwart

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed grief over the death of 88-year-old former India cricketer Salim Durani.

PM Modi shared a heartfelt message on Twitter,saying, ” Salim Durani Ji had a very old and strong association with Gujarat. He played for Saurashtra and Gujarat for a few years. He also made Gujarat his home. I have had the opportunity to interact with him and was deeply impressed by his multifaceted persona. He will surely be missed.”

“I had the opportunity to interact with the great Salim Durani Ji on various occasions. One such occasion was in January 2004 at a programme in Jamnagar, in which a statue of the great cricketer Vinoo Mankad Ji was inaugurated. Here are some memories from the programme,” PM Modi tweeted

Apart from PM Modi, fellow political leaders Shashi Tharoor and JP Nadda, too, came forward to express their grief.

“Saddened by the news that cricket legend SalimDurani has passed away. Born in Kabul too early for the white-ball era in which he’d have thrived, the volatile genius was a crowd-pleaser&public favourite: ‘No Durani No Test’ posters went up when he was dropped against England. RIP,” said Shashi Tharoor in a tweet.

“Deeply saddened by the news of Salim Durani Ji’s demise. He was a true icon of Indian cricket known for his immense skill and played a vital role in some of our most historic victories. My thoughts & prayers are with his family and friends during this tough time.

Om Shanti,” said JP Nadda in a tweet.

The cricketing fraternity also paid rich tributes to one of Indian cricket’s tallest and most respected figures. ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar, fellow batting stalwart VVS Laxman, former India women’s captain Mithali Raj and BCCI secretary Jay Shah paid their respects to Durani.

“Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Salim Durani ji. A really warm and loving person. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. Rest in peace,” Sachin wrote in a tweet.

“India’s first Arjuna Award-winning cricketer and a man who hit sixes on public demand, Salim Durani. Om Shanti. Heartfelt Condolences to his family, friends and loved ones,” said VVS Lakman in a tweet.

“Just heard the sad news of Salim Durani ji passing away. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends” said Mithali Raj in a tweet.

“Gutted to hear about the passing away of one of Team India’s legends Salim Durani. Today, we have lost one of Indian cricket’s crown jewels. Condolences to his family. RIP Salim Durani ji,” said Jay Shah in a tweet.

In a career spanning more than a decade, Durani not only produced several beautiful, yet breathtaking moments on the cricket field but also on the big screen. (ANI)

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Not Prepared For The Role of Kerala CM, says Shashi Tharoor

Not Ready To Become Kerala CM Yet, Says Tharoor

Days after expressing his desire to enter the chief ministerial race in Kerala, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Saturday said he is not prepared for the role of the chief minister.

“I am not prepared for the role of the chief minister. I will continue doing what I have been doing for fourteen years,” Tharoor told reporters in Kannur. “There is nothing more to say,” Tharoor added.

Earlier Congress MP Hibi Eden had said Tharoor could express his desire for the role of chief minister if “the high command allows” him.

Tharoor had shown his willingness to contest elections from Kerala while speaking to a local Malayalam news channel.

When asked if he was willing to take up the Chief Ministerial post in Kerala, he replied affirmatively, “I am ready for the role. But the ultimate decision belongs to the people. The responsibility of finding the underlying reasons for the issues faced by Kerala lies with us,” he said a few days ago.

“The party should decide who will contest. An MP cannot decide not to contest tomorrow. If the party decides, he will have to contest. The party will say if his services are needed more for state politics. No confusion in this,” Congress MP Hibi Eden said underscoring that neither the party [Congress] nor the high command has so far decided on the next chief ministerial face for Kerala.

“If they decide I will stand with him,” Eden added reiterating that the party has not appointed Tharoor for the role yet.

He further said, “Tharoor may wish. But the party has not appointed him for that. Anyone can want it. No one is underqualified. Whoever it is, they need to be given high command clearance.”

Later in his address to media persons, Eden said that they have led the organizational activity of adding names to the voters’ list and are now moving forward with that.

“I have not found any difficulty in preparations related to the Lok Sabha elections. All the political parties are doing things vigorously as the elections are closer. We have already held many meetings related to the concept of Vision 2024,” he added. (ANI)

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Not Prepared For The Role of Kerala CM, says Shashi Tharoor

‘Not Going To NCP’: Tharoor Rejects Chacko’s Invite

Hours after an offer made by Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) state president PC Chacko, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor made it clear that he is not going to NCP. Tharoor also said that there was no such matter discussed with PC Chacko.

Shashi Tharoor reacted to Chacko’s comment today at Kochi while he was speaking to reporters.
Tharoor said, “I need to be welcomed if I am going there. I am not going to NCP. Such matters were not discussed with PC Chacko.”

It was yesterday that Chacko, who was in Congress for a long time welcomed Tharoor to his party at Kannur. The NCP leader said, “If Congress MP Shashi Tharoor comes to NCP, we will accept him warmly. Shashi Tharoor will remain as Thiruvananthapuram MP even if the Congress party rejects him. I do not know why Congress is ignoring Tharoor.”

Chacko also said, “Shashi Tharoor is the only Congress leader capable of challenging the BJP. Can any of the Congress leaders in Kerala express the opinion expressed by Shashi Tharoor on the issue of the construction of Vizhinjam port? It is an example of Tharoor’s political maturity. Can any of the Congress leaders in Kerala make such an opinion?”

“Shashi Tharoor will remain as Thiruvananthapuram MP even if the Congress rejects him. But Congress is the only party that doesn’t understand that. I do not know why Congress is ignoring Tharoor and is it because of jealousy,” he added.

The offer from Chacko came while the reports of tussle inside the Congress’ state unit after Tharoor actively started participating in events and meeting with religious and political leaders across the state. (ANI)

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Ex-Cong Min Patil

Ex-Cong Min Patil Draws Link Between Jihad-Gita

Former Union home minister and Congress veteran Shivraj Patil have stoked controversy with his recent claim that the concept of ‘jihad’ finds mention not only in the Quran but in the Bhagwad Gita and in Christianity as well.

At a book launch event in the national capital on Thursday, Patil said that Lord Krishna also taught lessons of jihad to Arjun in a part of Gita in the Mahabharat.
Patil’s remarks have drawn flak from the BJP which has hit out at the Congress for “Hindu hatred” and “votebank politics.”

“It’s said there is a lot of discussion on Jihad in Islam religion… Even after all efforts, if someone doesn’t understand clean ideas, then power can be used. It is not just in the Quran Sharif, but also in the Mahabharata of which Gita is a part,” Patil said.

“Shri Krishna also talks to Arjuna about jihad. It is not like this is only in the Quran Sharif or the Gita but in Christianity also it is written…Christ has said that I have not come here to establish peace but I have come here with sword,” Patil said.

Speaking in Hindi, the Congress leader said that “if even after explaining everything, people do not understand and they are arriving with weapons then you cannot run, you cannot call that jihad and you cannot call it wrong, this is what must be understood, there should not be this concept of making people understand with weapons in hand.”

Patil who was Union home minister from 2004 to 2008 and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 1991 to 1996 was addressing the audience at a book launch of Congress leader and former Union Minister Mohsina Kidwai. Among the other dignitaries present at the launch were Shashi Tharoor, Digvijaya Singh, Farooq Abdullah, and Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Meanwhile, BJP has hit out at the “vote-bank politics” of the Congress.

“After AAP’s Gopal Italia & Rajendra Pal, not to be outdone in Hindu hatred & vote-bank politics, Congress’ Shivraj Patil says Shri Krishna taught “Jihad” to Arjun! Congress coined Hindu/Saffron terror, opposed Ram Mandir, Questioned Ram JI’s existence, said Hindutva = ISIS,” BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla tweeted. (ANI)

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Kharge Rahul Gandhi

Cong Is An Example Of Democracy: Kharge After Win

Mallikarjun Kharge, who was elected new Congress president on Wednesday, said that the party has presented an “example of strengthening the country’s democracy by conducting organizational elections” at a time when “democracy is in danger” in the country.

Kharge got 7,897 votes in the presidential contest and his opponent Shashi Tharoor received 1,072 votes in the voting held on October 17.
Addressing the media after his victory, Kharge said Congress has “continuously strengthened democracy” in the 75-year history of the country and protected the Constitution.

“Now when democracy is in danger and Constitution is being attacked, and every institution is being broken, Congress has presented an example of strengthening the country’s democracy by conducting organizational elections at the national level. I thank everyone connected with the election,” he said.

He also congratulated Tharoor and said that they discussed methods to take the party forward. Tharoor had visited Kharge’s residence to congratulate him on his victory.

“I want to congratulate my partner Shashi Tharoor as well. We were contesting the election as representatives. He met me and we discussed how to take the party forward,” Kharge said.

The Congress president-elect expressed his gratitude to outgoing party chief Sonia Gandhi and said that she made “personal sacrifices” for a number of years to serve the party. He also hailed her leadership stating that the Congress-led coalition came to power at the Centre twice while she was party chief.

“I want to thank Sonia Gandhi on behalf of all party workers. She has made personal sacrifices and served the party for 25 years with hard sweat and blood. Under her leadership, we formed our government at the Centre twice. Her tenure (as party president) will be remembered in history,” he said.

Kharge appealed to people to join former party president Rahul Gandhi in Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“The biggest problem in the country is inflation and unemployment, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening and hatred is being spread by the government. Rahul Gandhi has undertaken the 3,570 km-long yatra to create a mass movement against these problems. The entire country is connecting with his struggle. I appeal to the people of the country to join the Bharat Jodo Yatra with Rahul Gandhi for the country’s welfare,” he said.

“We all have to work like workers of the party, nobody is big or small in the party. We have to unitedly fight against the fascist forces that are attacking the democratic institutions under the garb of communalism,” Kharge added.

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala, who was present at the press conference, said that Kharge will take charge on October 26.

Earlier today, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on reached Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence and congratulated him on being elected as the new party president.

Rahul Gandhi also extended wishes to Kharge and said that the post he has been elected to “represents a democratic vision of India”.

Gandhi said that Kharge’s vast experience will serve the party well.

“Congratulations to Mallikarjun Khargeji on being elected as the President of @INCIndia. The Congress President represents a democratic vision of India. His vast experience and ideological commitment will serve the party well as he takes on this historic responsibility,” Gandhi tweeted.

Chairman of Congress Central Election Committee (CEC) Madhusudan Mistry declared that Kharge has been elected the new president of the party.

“The total counted votes was 9,385 of which Mallikarjun Kharge received 7,897 votes and Shashi Tharoor received 1,072 votes. 416 were invalid votes. As per Article 18 (D) of the Constitution of Indian National, I hereby declare Mallikarjun Kharge as the elected President of Congress,” Mistry said. (ANI)

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New Congress Chief

Kharge Is New Congress Chief; Revival Begins, Says, Tharoor

Veteran politician Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday swept the party’s presidential polls paving the way for him to become the first non-Gandhi chief of Congress party in over two decades.

Chairman of the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC) Madhusudan Mistry today declared Mallikarjun Kharge as the elected President of the party.
“The total counted votes were 9,385, of which Mallikarjun Kharge received 7,897 votes and Shashi Tharoor received 1,072 votes. 416 were invalid votes. As per Article 18 (D) of the Constitution of Indian National, I hereby declare Mallikarjun Kharge as the elected President of Congress,” said Mistry.

Kharge’s opponent conceded defeat and went to the New Delhi residence of the Congress President-elect to congratulate him on his victory.

Tharoor said he believed “the revival of the party begins today”. “It is a great honor and a huge responsibility to be President of the INC and I wish Kharge Ji all success in the task,” the MP from Thiruvananthapuram tweeted.

Before the results were announced, party leader Rahul Gandhi during a press conference apparently jumped the gun and referred to Kharge as the party president.

“I can’t comment on Congress President’s role, that’s for Mr. Kharge (party’s Presidential candidate) to comment on. The President will decide what my role is…and where I will be deployed ask Kharge ji, Sonia ji,” said the Congress MP in Kurnool amid the Andhra Pradesh leg of Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Meanwhile, other leaders of the party congratulated Kharge on his victory.

Party leader Jairam Ramesh said that Kharge’s victory is a triumph for the forces who place ideological commitment over personal glory.

“Mallikarjun Kharge has completed 50 years in electoral politics. He has distinguished himself as a legislator and Minister in the state and at the Centre. He is a shining symbol of social empowerment inspired by Nehru, Ambedkar, Indira Gandhi, and Devaraj Urs,” Ramesh said in a tweet.

He further said that Kharge has always avoided flamboyance and has been the quintessential organization man working in a self-effacing manner to advance the collective interests of the Congress party.

He has the good wishes of all Congressmen and Congresswomen, he added.

Rajasthan Cong leader Sachin Pilot greeted Kharge and said that he has faith that the latter’s experience will benefit the party

“Mallikarjun Kharge won with a huge majority; a win of democracy. I congratulated him. I’ve faith his experience will benefit the party…9000 elected people elected the President, this was never done before by any party. Opposition must be nervous today,” said Pilot.

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said that Kharge has won with eight times more votes than Tharoor.

“Mallikarjun Kharge wins the Congress presidential elections with 7897 votes, Shashi Tharoor got about 1000 votes. Kharge has won with 8 times more votes,” said Tiwari.

For the first time in 24 years, the party has got a chief who does not belong to the Nehru-Gandhi family.

The new president will take place of Sonia Gandhi who has been serving as interim president after Rahul Gandhi stepped down from the post following the party’s debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress sources also said the elected president will take charge after Diwali in the presence of senior leaders in a program at the Congress headquarters.

Meanwhile, ahead of the declaration of results for the party’s top post, the Shashi Tharoor camp approached the party’s election authority alleging that it suspected “extremely serious irregularities” in Uttar Pradesh on the day of the polling and demanded that all votes from the state be deemed invalid.

In a letter to Congress Central Authority Chairman Madhusudan Mistry, Salman Soz the election agent to Tharoor wrote about “disturbing facts” including “reports of minor violations” guidelines in a few states including Uttar Pradesh during the polling on Monday.

The ex-Member of Parliament (MP) Salman Anees Soz in his letter underlined that they had no evidence that Mallikarjun Kharge was aware of how his supporters were engaging in electoral malpractice in Uttar Pradesh.

Incidentally, Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates. (ANI)

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First Non-Gandhi Prez

Cong To Get First Non-Gandhi Prez In 24 Yrs, Counting Began At 10 am

The Congress is set to get a new president on Wednesday with the counting to take place from 10 am.

Former Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor are in the fray and it will be for the first time in 24 years that the party will get a party chief who does not belong to the Nehru-Gandhi family.
The new president will take the place of Sonia Gandhi who had been serving as interim president after Rahul Gandhi stepped down from the post following the party’s debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The result is likely to be declared between 3 pm to 4 pm. The ballot boxes from the state headquarters have reached the counting place in the Congress office.

Mallikarjun Kharge is seen as the favorite to win the contest. Five agents from each side will oversee the counting while two agents from both sides will be kept in reserve, sources said.

The Chairman of the Central Election Authority will announce the result after counting. More than 9,500 delegates cast their votes in the presidential election which took place at the culmination of the party’s organizational polls.

Sources said seven-eight tables will be set up for counting of votes and each table will have two persons.

Congress sources said the elected president will take charge after Diwali in the presence of senior leaders in a program at the Congress headquarters.

It has not been decided whether the certificate will be given to the winner on Wednesday or later.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who was earlier the frontrunner for the post, will be in Delhi tomorrow. Rahul Gandhi will continue on the Bharat Jodo Yatra. (ANI)

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Bharat Jodo Yatra: MP Francisco

Want Rahul To stop Bharat Jodo Yatra: MP Francisco

Congress MP Francisco Sardinha on Monday claimed that the Congress is the “only party” that can defeat the BJP and hence Rahul Gandhi should now stop the Bharat Jodo Yatra and go to Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat to campaign for the Assembly polls.

“I want Rahul Gandhi to stop the Bharat Jodo Yatra and go to Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat to awaken the public so that they vote for the only party that can defeat BJP. The only party that can be an opposition to BJP is Congress,” said Congress MP Francisco Sardinha after casting his vote for the next president of Congress.
The Election Commission on Friday declared that Assembly polls will be held in Himachal Pradesh on November 12 and the counting of votes will take place on December 8.

The 182-seat Gujarat Assembly will go to polls later this year.

Sardinha, who is also a former Chief Minister of Goa, made this claim after casting his vote and also alleged that there is no point in contesting when one knows that their defeat is confirmed.

“Shashi Tharoor is my colleague. If I had to meet I would have requested him for it because I knew everybody would be for Mallikarjun, so what is the point when you know that you are 100 percent going to lose, you just want to show that you contested,” Sardinha said adding that he was sure of veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s victory for the party’s president post.

“Nothing new, there have been elections earlier, unopposed, Madam Sonia ji was the president, Rahul ji was the president and now there are elections and I am sure Mallikarjjun ji will be the new president of the Congress,” he said further.

The 3,500-km yatra from Kanniyakumari to Kashmir is observing a “rest day” on the day of voting for the next president.

In the race for the next president of Congress, party leaders Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge are in direct contest with each other.

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who is pitted against party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge for the post of the Congress president on Monday, said the revival of the party has begun whatever the outcome and that the fate of the Congress lies in the hands of the party workers.

Tharoor said he was confident of winning the election but acknowledged the odds against him.

Meanwhile, Kharge also told ANI: “It is part of our internal election. Whatever we said to each other is on a friendly note. Together we have to build the party. (Shashi) Tharoor telephoned me and wished me luck and I also said the same.”

It is not the first time that a non-Gandhi leader is contesting for the party presidency post-Independence, as Jitendra Prasad contested for the post of the president about 22 years ago against Sonia Gandhi in which she emerged as a winner holding the mantle of the party for 20 years.

Sonia Gandhi is the party’s longest-serving president, having held the office for over 20 years from 1998 to 2017 and since 2019.

This time no member of the Gandhi family is contesting for the post of President.

This is the sixth time in its nearly 137-year history that polls are being conducted to elect the national president of the party. In the 2017 elections, Rahul Gandhi became the party president unopposed. (ANI)

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