UNFAZED over the internal rumblings in the Congress’ Kerala unit on his Malabar tour and swelling support for him, Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said neither was he afraid of anyone nor should anyone fear him, as he continued his tour of the region and also met senior leaders of his party-led UDF ally IUML here.
In response to a query by the media as to who was afraid of his tour, Tharoor said, “I do not fear anyone and there is no need for anyone to be afraid of me.” He also said he was not interested in creating any group within the state Congress.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP’s remarks assume significance amidst speculation that a section of the Congress leadership in Kerala appears to be apprehensive over the increasing support he was enjoying and the emergence of a ‘Tharoor group’ within the party in the State, where it lost power to rival CPI(M) in 2016.
Tharoor, however, downplayed his meeting with the IUML leaders at the residence of Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal at Panakkad by saying it was just a courtesy call on the way to an event in the district.
Other senior Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leaders present there also termed his visit as nothing unusual and said they all go and meet Thangal whenever they pass through the area.
Tharoor, accompanied by his staunch supporter and MP M K Raghavan, also said he has no intention or interest in creating a group. “Some are saying it is (his tour) divisive tactics or groupism. We do not intend to create any group,” Tharoor said.