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Lok Sabha polls: Is Shashi Tharoor unbeatable in Thiruvananthapuram seat?

The BJP is likely to field former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan as its candidate and the ruling Left Front has pitted senior Communist Party of India leader C Divakaran

Business Standard 

Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Photo: Congress

A love story

Nirav Modi might have flown the coop but he continues to muddy the waters. During an interaction with the students of Stella Maris College in Chennai, Congress President Rahul Gandhi (pictured) replaced the fugitive diamantaire's name with that of the Prime Minister. While answering a question, Gandhi said, "What we want to do is we want to take the money that is going to 15-17 corrupt business people like Naren... not Narendra, Nirav Modi..." As his audience cracked up, Gandhi continued, "...and open the banking system to entrepreneurs like you." When asked why he hugged the Prime Minister during a Parliament debate, he said he felt only love for the Prime Minister. "You know the people who don't have affection towards others? Because they have not been loved... I genuinely feel love for the Prime Minister. You are laughing, but I genuinely do."


Tweet and response

In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday appealed to actors, sportspersons, industrialists and journalists to campaign for voter awareness and increased turnout during the coming Lok Sabha polls. Tagging Opposition leaders Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav and M K Stalin among others, the PM said "a high turnout augurs well for our democratic fabric". Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav replied by saying how delighted he was to find the PM appealing to the mahagatbandhan, or the grand coalition of the Opposition parties, to bring about a mahaparivartan or radical change. Alluding to the fact that Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) was under President's rule, National Conference Leader Omar Abdullah said the right to choose an elected government, as opposed to being governed by a hand-picked nominee of the central government was “the hallmark of the sort of democracy you are tweeting about". “Please give us our democratic right to choose our own government,” the former J&K chief minister said.


Lose-lose situation

Looks like the battle in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency this time is for the second spot as both the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seem to be convinced that sitting MP, Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, cannot be trounced. The BJP is likely to field former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan as its candidate and the ruling Left Front has pitted senior Communist Party of India leader C Divakaran. But with Divakaran's entry, the BJP's hopes of securing the second spot have suffered a severe jolt. The joke among BJP cadres is that Rajasekharan will make history as the first BJP leader to resign from the governor's post only to bite the dust.

First Published: Wed, March 13 2019. 21:47 IST
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