Subscription Subscription
Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Lok Sabha elections 2024 Mumbai should vote to save its cosmopolitanism says Shashi Tharoor

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Mumbai should vote to save its cosmopolitanism, says Shashi Tharoor

Updated on: 13 May,2024 07:20 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

Congress stalwart Shashi Tharoor says BJP govt will fall, like-minded outfits that had split from party but want to merge now are welcome

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Mumbai should vote to save its cosmopolitanism, says Shashi Tharoor

The Thiruvananthapuram MP flanked by Congress leaders Naseem Khan (left) and Vijay Wadettiwar. Pics/Shadab Khan

Listen to this article
Lok Sabha elections 2024: Mumbai should vote to save its cosmopolitanism, says Shashi Tharoor

I stayed in Mumbai for eight to nine years when I was young and I am aware of its character. It has an intrinsic characteristic of secularism and cosmopolitanism. BJP doesn’t understand it and people of Mumbai should come forward and vote for an India that we all should be proud of,” said Congress leader Shashi Tharoor at a press conference at Tikak Bhavan, the Maharashtra Congress headquarters, in Dadar on Sunday.

Tharoor, who is contesting the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, was in Mumbai for 24 hours to campaign for the party’s Mumbai North Central and North candidates Varsha Gaikwad and Bhushan Patil. He took part in rallies with Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray in Bandra on Saturday evening.

Tharoor delivered his speech in Hindi and addressed the questions in Hindi as well as in English. Speaking about his party’s once-archrival in Mumbai, Shiv Sena (UBT), Tharoor commended Aaditya and Sena for supporting Congress’s candidates. “I was there on the same truck with Aaditya and Gaikwad. The Sena and all its supporters joined the rally. It is mutual support and respect for each other,” Tharoor said.

On ties with ally

Hailing the MVA alliance, Tharoor said, “Even though there is an initial hesitation with our voters, they will understand and there is give and take with Sena in Mumbai,” he said.

Shashi Tharoor, Congress leaderShashi Tharoor, Congress leader

Stating that Congress treated its alliance parties equally and respectfully, he said, “We always look at the larger perspective and there is mutual respect [with other parties]. In contrast, the BJP treats its alliance parties in a humiliating way and that’s why parties like Akali Dal separated from it. In addition, the Central government with a coalition of parties can run the government as efficiently. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee ran it with 26 parties. The economic growth of the country is better under coalition governments. We will choose the leader for PM after discussion with all the parties.”

On potential mergers

Claiming that the BJP was frightened and seeking help from parties like the Shiv Sena or NCP which it “broke with huge amounts of money”, Tharoor said, “There are many parties that have separated from Congress in history for various reasons, but if they follow the same ideology, they are welcome back and will get the red-carpet treatment.”

On Muslim candidate issue

Responding to a query on why the Congress had failed to field a Muslim candidate, Tharoor said, “Due to alliances there are a few restrictions. The number of seats is the least. Then we have to look at many factors including women, anti-incumbency and alliance parties’ opinions and that’s why sometimes it isn’t possible to give tickets to deserving candidates. But if you look carefully, there isn’t a single Muslim minister, MP or MLA in any BJP government. Earlier there were two to three leaders but after one or two years, they were all phased out. There isn’t any representative for a strong community with 15 to 20 per cent population. Under the Congress party, there will be representation of all.

On secularism

“Democracy has been in danger for the last 10 years. The soul of diversity and secularism has been targeted. As per the Constitution written by Dr Ambedkar, every Indian has equal rights. But the BJP has introduced a Citizenship Act injecting religion into it. We should oppose it not for politics but for the nation,” Tharoor said.

He added that after voting in his constituency in Kerala on April 26, he visited eight states as part of a nationwide tour. “After three phases of polls, now it seems ‘hawa badal rahi hai’. It is not only related to South India but all over,” he said.

On Rahul-Modi debate

The three-time MP said, “Apart from the scripted interviews, Narendra Modi never faced unprepared, unscripted questions. BJP contended PM Manmohan Singh was Mouni Mohan Singh but he used to take at least three to four interviews a year and even gave interviews for unprepared questions. Now Modi should reply to the questions of the nation on unemployment, not doubling the income of farmers, suicide of farmers, safety of women etc.”

He added that AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had made a very apt comment on the retirement age of Modi. “The BJP itself insisted that the leaders should retire at 75 of their age and Modi is turning 75 in September 2025. But we do not need to wait till then. The government will change on June 4, 2024,” he said.

Apr 26
Day Tharoor cast his vote

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK