Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 25 February 2021 2.09 AM IST

Shashi Tharoor to meet people, incorporate their views in UDF manifesto; move aimed at attracting youth


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has been given the crucial task of meeting people from various walks of life, including the youth, and incorporate their views while drawing up the 'People's manifesto' of the UDF opposition in poll-bound Kerala. A decision in this regard was taken at the first meeting of the Election Management and Strategy Committee held here on Saturday.

Tharoor, who is also a member of the 10-member committee, constituted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi recently, will be meeting people in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Palakkad and Kozhikode districts, Committee Chairman Oommen Chandy told reporters after the meeting. He will be holding talks with various sections of the people on the problems being faced by them which would be reflected in the manifesto.

The manifesto should reflect the needs of the people, former chief minister Chandy said. More seats would be given to youth, women and the criteria of selecting candidates would be based on their winnability, he added. Leader of Opposition, Ramesh Chennithala will be leading a Kerala yatra ahead of the assembly polls, which would be flagged off by Chandy from Manjeswaram in Kasaragod district on January 31.

Asked about reports of a miffed K V Thomas eyeing the LDF camp if denied ticket in the coming polls, Chandy said Thomas was a senior Congress leader and was very much in the party.

"He is in the Congress and will continue to be in the party. There is no doubt", he said.

Thomas, who had reached the state capital from Ernakulam and is understood to have held talks with senior AICC leaders, later told reporters that he had lodged his "genuine complaints" with the party leaders. I am a congressman, he said when asked if he was eyeing the rival camp.

On selection of candidates, Chennithala said informal discussions are going on with coalition partners. The committee, which includes KPCC President, Mullapally Ramachandran, Leader of Opposition, Ramesh Chennithala, AICC Organisational secretary, K C Venugopal and AICC Secretary in charge of Kerala, Tariq Anwar will be meeting frequently to discuss matters related to electioneering, coordination and formulation of election strategies. Besides Tharoor, MPs K Muraleedharan, K Sudhakaran and Kodikunnil Suresh and former KPCC president, V M Sudheeran, are the other members of the panel.

Why Tharoor?

The move is aimed at attracting the younger generation by maximizing new ideas and social perspectives. The High Command thinks Tharoor is the right man for the job. There are indications in the High Command that Tharoor's modern face, thoughts and developmental perspectives should be used in the manifesto. Tharoor was approached by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

An alternative to the Pinarayi style

Prior to the election, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had discussions with people from various walks of life and formulated ideas. The Congress' move is to bring up an alternative. The Left is working strongly to keep the coalition in power. According to the UDF, the social engineering of the Chief Minister is working for that.

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