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‘He can explain’: Congress diverts row on Shashi Tharoor map error, apologizes

'He can explain': Congress diverts row over Shashi Tharoor map error, apologizes

Jairam Ramesh, congressional communications officer, calls it “an egregious mistake.” (Proceedings)

New Delhi:

The Congress has distanced itself from Shashi Tharoor for using the wrong map of India in his manifesto for the poll of the party chairman. Tharoor later apologized and issued corrected versions, saying “nobody does such a thing on purpose”.

Before the apology, the party’s communications officer, Jairam Ramesh, called the wrong map (parts of Jammu and Kahsmir, and Ladakh were missing) an “egregious mistake”, putting the onus on Tharoor and his team for the explanation. He was responding to a tweet from BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya juxtaposing Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (Unite India March) with Tharoor’s alleged ‘dismemberment’ of the country.

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“The ‘I Troll Cell’ of the BJP will look for any flimsy excuse to target and tarnish Bharat Jodo Yatra and Rahul Gandhi,” Jairam Ramesh said in his tweet.

Tharoor said in a tweet about an hour later: “A small team of volunteers made a mistake. We immediately rectified it and I wholeheartedly apologize for the mistake.”

Gandhi-backed Mallikarjun Kharge’s main opponent for the party leadership, Shashi Tharoor was among 23 leaders who had written to interim leader Sonia Gandhi seeking reforms in the party and its leadership system. However, he has emphasized that he is not a ‘G-23’ candidate, some of whose members have left the party while others have backed Kharge.

Mr. Tharoor, a former union minister who also faced a pamphlet map row in 2019, filed his nomination papers today and issued the manifesto, as well as a video on Twitter, where he has more than 80 lakh followers.

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The vote is on October 17 and the results are two days later, in the first polls of heads of Congress in more than 20 years without a Gandhi in the race.

Rahul Gandhi, who held the post from 2017-2019 before resigning after a drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls, turned down the contest requests, apparently hoping that having a non-Gandhi boss would help the party counter the accusation of nepotism.

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Jairam Ramesh with Rahul Gandhi and others at a press conference during the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. (Proceedings)

However, he remains the pre-eminent face of the party, evident by his leadership in the Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir Yatra.


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