Jaipur, Jan 21 (PTI) Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday said some level of factionalism exists in every political party, but leaders should look at the bigger picture and the collective goal.
Tharoor’s remarks come in the backdrop of the ongoing power tussle between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Jaipur Literature Festival, Tharoor noted, “Are there any monolithic parties in India, do they not have differing opinions in the BJP? In a democracy, two people can have differences of opinion, but if you share the ideology and are fighting for the same cause, then what the party says goes.”
“It is the reality for every party to have some small factions, but the larger point is all of us are against the BJP. These are very small things when compared to the larger issues,” he added.
Pilot had on Friday took a veiled dig at Gehlot, saying elders should think about the younger generation and young people should get justice.
Referring to the resignation of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Pilot said Ardern was appointed to the top post eight years ago, but stepped down because of her low public ranking and decided to work for her party instead.
Earlier, a video had surfaced in which the Rajasthan chief minister is purportedly saying that a “big corona” entered the party after the pandemic.
It is believed that Gehlot allegedly likened Pilot to coronavirus.
Responding to a question about the leaders’ history of calling each other names, Tharoor advised his colleagues to be mindful of their words.
“When we are talking about our colleagues, we should use our words thoughtfully. I am proud of the fact that in the 14 years of my time in politics, I have never used such words for anyone. Once or twice, I said that I prefer not to wrestle in the mud.
“So it is my request to my colleagues that it is not good to say such things about our brothers and sisters. They can certainly find ways of saying it and can say a lot more privately,” the Congress leader said.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP also commented on the ongoing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and said it has “rehabilitated the image of Rahul Gandhi”.
“After all this caricaturing of him, all this ‘Pappu’ business was based on three charges, one was that he would declare a dharna one day and fly off abroad the next and so on. Here he is sticking doggedly to his guns and marching on for 160 days, you cannot say all those things anymore.
“The second charge was that he is arrogant, elitist, inaccessible, and does not meet anyone. All sorts of people have come from all walks of life. They talk to him, hold his hands, and march with him,” Tharoor noted.
He added that a third charge was made against him that he is a “dilettante and not a serious politician”.
“Here is a man who has held a dozen press conferences, how many has the prime minister held? The charges against Rahul Gandhi have been blown to smithereens. This is somebody who is completely transformed by the yatra,” he said.