V D Satheesan claims portrayal of him as villain to Tharoor, denies rift
The Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Kerala Assembly V D Satheesan on Sunday rejected reports of a rift between him and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor by lamenting that he has been portrayed as a ''villain'' in the ''stories'' being created that there was some issue between the two.
His remark comes in the wake of reports that Satheesan and a section of Congress leaders in the State were rattled by the recent tour of Malabar by Tharoor and apprehensive of the Thiruvananthapuram MP trying to position himself as an ideal chief ministerial candidate of the Congress-led UDF for the 2026 Assembly polls.
Denying the rift or problems with Tharoor, the LoP said he ''loves and respects'' the MP, so there was no question of not talking to him.
''After the Congress presidential election, I invited him to an event in Kochi that was organised by a group of which I am also a forerunner. But, he was unable to come due to his Parliamentary duties. I had invited him to the event. So, why would anyone question whether I would speak to him or not? I talk to even people whom I do not like, but I love and respect him,'' Satheesan said while speaking here at the State-level conclave of the All India Professionals' Congress.
He said social media was claiming that he was envious of Tharoor and that it was true.
''It is true. We do envy him. Should we not? When we see someone who has skills we do not have, should we not feel envious?'' he asked and joked ''I am sad that no one envies me.'' He said this was all there was, but a lot of news and hype was being created around it.
Satheesan said he was not blaming anyone as whenever a story is created, there has to be a villain in it and this time round, it was his fate to be one.
''In all stories, there has to be a villain. This time, it appears to be my fate. We cannot always be a hero. This time, I face the fate of being portrayed as the villain in the stories being created. What can I do? I just go about with my work, as my job is something else,'' he said.
Congress MP Hibi Eden, who was one of the speakers at the event, said the party ''should unleash the full potential of Shashi Tharoor in many different aspects'' as he upholds the values of the Indian National Congress and the country needs him.
Earlier in the day, Tharoor said he was not upset or angry with anyone in the Kerala unit of the party and has no reservations in speaking to anyone as ''we are not in kindergarten to refrain from talking to each other.'' Speaking to reporters in the port city of Kochi, where he came to attend the conclave, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said he has not spoken against anyone in the party or acted against its directives and has no clue why such a controversy has been created.
''I am not upset or angry with anyone. I have not blamed or accused anyone. There are no complaints or issues from my end. I have no problem seeing everyone as one and neither do I have any reservations about speaking to anyone,'' he said before the event.
On being asked whether he would be speaking to Satheesan and Kerala PCC (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran at the event, Tharoor said the latter was not well and would be participating via video conference.
Regarding Satheesan, he said, ''If we see each other at the venue, then we will see''.
''If they talk to me, will I not respond? We are not in kindergarten to refrain from talking or speaking to each other. But if we are not in the same place at the same time, how will we talk or speak to one another,'' he asked.
Satheesan, without naming Tharoor, recently said any kind of sectarianism or parallel activities would not be allowed in the party and warned that such moves would be 'seriously' dealt with.
It was one of several remarks made by the LoP in the wake of Tharoor's Malabar tour which seems to have rattled a significant section in Congress in the State with a few of them sensing an ''agenda'' behind his move.
In the wake of the brewing controversy over his recent tour, the disciplinary panel of KPCC on Saturday issued a strict directive to its leaders not to bypass the respective party fora while attending programmes in each place and directed the leaders to intimate them in advance.
When this was pointed out to the Thiruvananthapuram MP by reporters on Sunday, he said the District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents are always informed whenever he attends any public event.
However, if it was a private event, there was no need to inform DCC presidents about the same, he added.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)