An online petition has been initiated to nominate Shashi Tharoor as the prime ministerial candidate of the UPA for the 2019 general elections.
The petition on Change.org, titled “Dr Shashi Tharoor as UPA's Prime Minister Candidate for 2019 elections” had 9,327 supporters (out of a targeted 10,000) on Tuesday morning.
The petition was launched by a social media user from Thiruvananthapuram, from where Tharoor is a sitting MP.
The online petition reads as follows:
We nominate Dr Shashi Tharoor to be the Prime Ministerial candidate of UPA in the run up to 2019. In best interest of the world’s largest democracy and to rejuvenate the opposition. Tharoor is a man well qualified with deep knowledge of international and national issues, who can connect with the people of India and with world leaders.
The Congress leader was one of the most followed politicians on Twitter, until 2013, when he was overtaken by PM Narendra Modi. He currently stands at 4.9 million followers, with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi lagging behind at 1.7 million followers.
Tharoor served as Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information at the United Nations. He stepped down from the international body in 2001, marking an end to a 29-year-long tenure. He has also authored several books, all of which deal with India.
The petition reads:
Dr Shashi Tharoor is a man well qualified with deep knowledge of international and national issues, who can connect with the people of India and with world leaders.
Tharoor’s recent book, Inglorious Empire: What the British did to India, highlights the atrocities of the British rule in India.
The book has received critical acclaim, and Tharoor has been interviewed by the press in the UK, ahead of a prospective trade deal between Britain and the Commonwealth nations.
The Congress is currently in its worse shape since Independence, as they plunged to 206 seats to a paltry 44 in the most recent Lok Sabha polls. The party also lost power in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, while also losing Uttar Pradesh, despite an alliance with the ruling Samajwadi Party.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)