Kerala Politics

Tharoor accepts Chandrasekhar’s challenge

Shashi Tharoor said that he welcomed the debate but also accused Rajeev Chandrasekhar of evading the debate till now…reports Asian Lite News

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has accepted the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s challenge to have a debate on the development of Thiruvananthapuram.

In his post on X, Tharoor said that he welcomed the debate but also accused Chandrasekhar of evading the debate till now.

“Yes, I welcome a debate. But the people of Thiruvananthapuram are aware of who has been evading a debate till now. Let us debate politics and development. Let us debate price hike, unemployment, corruption, communalism and the BJP’s 10 years of propagating politics of hatred,” he said.

“Let us also discuss about the development of Thiruvananthapuram and the visible progress we have made in the last 15 years,” Tharoor added.

Earlier in a post on X, Chandrasekhar accused Tharoor of spreading misinformation during a recent interview with the Kerala-based news organization where he falsely accused Chandrasekhar of offering money to religious leaders and key voters in the constituency.

In his post on X Rajeev said, “We have been debating in multiple forums during the last two weeks, and people have seen you struggle for answers to my questions on these occasions. Forced into a defensive mode, you chose to disseminate falsehoods that not only defamed me but also besmirched numerous social and religious organizations within my constituency. Therefore, to start with, you need to answer the following questions I have posed to you.”

“I demand an immediate retraction of these baseless accusations and a sincere apology directed towards me and to these esteemed individuals. After that, let’s engage in a constructive debate for the comprehensive development of Thiruvananthapuram,” Chandrasekhar added.

Chandrasekhar took another dig at Tharoor, saying contesting elections is not about being a global citizen or impressing people with mastery of English, but about addressing the people’s pressing needs and effecting positive change in their lives.

“My mission is to propel the development of Thiruvananthapuram, which has been stagnating for several years, in reverse mode. Thiruvananthapuram wants progress, development, employment, and investment. This can be achieved through the politics of performance,” he said while addressing a meeting of his voters in the state capital city.

The Union Minister contended that for the past 15 years, there has been a “continuous effort to distract the public from serious developmental issues by focusing on trivial matters and falsehoods” and urged people to stay away from such negative politics.

“I entered politics 18 years ago with the sole aim of making a positive impact on people’s lives. There are still many households in Thiruvananthapuram which lack access to safe drinking water and gas connections that should be available under the Ujwal Yojana subsidy. These needs should no longer be just on paper. I have taken it upon myself as a mission to transform their lives. Working under the Narendra Modi government, I am committed to doing just that,” he said.

“I have come here with a mandate to make a difference by attracting investments and fostering development in Thiruvananthapuram. My mantra is the politics of performance. We need innovation, development, employment, and investment. I have a clear vision for this, and I am ready to show you the results. My mission is to implement it. As the son of an IAF officer, my foremost priority is to serve the nation and make India proud until my last breath,” said Chandrasekhar, who is also pitted against former Thiruvananthapuram MP Pannyan Raveendran, of the CPI.

Notably, a letter has been sent to the Election Commission of India, the Chief Electoral Officer of Kerala, and Adeela Abdullah, the Additional Chief Electoral Officer & Additional Secretary Nodal Officer of Model Code of Conduct, Kerala, stating that Tharoor violated the Model Code of Conduct by spreading falsehoods and misinformation about Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

The letter sent on Monday was written by advocate VV Rajesh, the NDA convener for Trivandrum Parliamentary constituency.

Notably, the constituency of Thiruvananthapuram will go to the polls on April 26 during the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections. This constituency in Kerala is being closely watched due to a high-profile contest between Congress’ Shashi Tharoor and the BJP’s Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

UDF, BJP afraid of poll verdict in state: Kerala CM

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday attacked the Congress-led United Democratic Front and the BJP, saying that they are afraid of the Lok Sabha election verdict in the state.

He accused the BJP-led central government of discrimination in financial allocations concerning the state.

“Both UDF and BJP are afraid of the election verdict. The Central government is the cause of the financial crisis. Both parties want to hide this. Kerala does not feature among the states with higher borrowing rates,” Vijayan told the media here.

Earlier, CM Vijayan had said the CPI (M) manifesto pledges to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, whereas the Congress manifesto is silent on the issue.

“The CPI (M) manifesto pledges to repeal the CAA whereas the Congress manifesto remains silent on the issue,” he said.

The Central government notified the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, on March 11, days before the announcement of the schedule for Lok Sabha polls.

Pinarayi Vijayan

The bill concerning CAA was passed by Parliament on December 11, 2019.

The 2019 Act amended the Citizenship Act, 1955 and provides that people are eligible for citizenship if they belong to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian communities and entered India from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan. It only applies to migrants who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

Kerala sends 20 parliamentarians to the Lok Sabha and voting will take place on April 26.

The Lok Sabha Elections 2024 will be held in seven phases, starting on April 19. The counting of votes is on June 4. (ANI)

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