New Delhi: Shashi Tharoor’s manifesto for the Congress chief’s election has landed him in some trouble — thanks to a map of India in it that does not have parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Social media users, particularly on Twitter where he has more than 8 million followers, have called this “a massive goof-up” and “shameful”, with some accusing him of being “divisive”.
This is the second time in three years that Shashi Tharoor, a former union minister, has landed in a map-in-a-booklet controversy.
In December 2019, he shared the cover of a booklet about Kerala Congress’s protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and that too had a similar problem. He deleted that tweet after the BJP’s IT Cell and leaders such as Sambit Patra went after him.
In his manifesto booklet with the tagline ‘Think Tomorrow, Think Tharoor’, he has used a map with a network of dots representing Congress units being across the expanse of India.
It is different from India’s official map that includes parts of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh occupied by Pakistan and China.
In the Congress polls, Shashi Tharoor is the main opponent of the party’s Rajya Sabha leader, Mallikarjun Kharge, who is the frontrunner thanks to apparent backing of the Gandhis.
I have just submitted my nomination papers as a candidate for the presidential election of @incindia. It is a privilege to serve the only party in India with an open democratic process to choose its leader. Greatly appreciate Soniaji’s guidance&vision.#ThinkTomorrowThinkTharoorpic.twitter.com/4HM4Xq3XIO
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 30, 2022
This is the first Congress chief election in over 20 years in which a Gandhi — current interim chief Sonia Gandhi and her son, MP Rahul Gandhi — aren’t contesting. In fact the family, in a counter to allegations of nepotism, insisted that a non-Gandhi take up the job.