Mallikarjun Kharge is a senior leader but the Congress needed Shashi Tharoor as its president, former MP and chairman of the Lokmat Media Group Vijay Darda said on Tuesday.
Darda, who was asked about the Congress presidential election at the launch of his book here, also added that he was not comparing the two leaders.
"I didn't say Tharoor is better than Kharge. Kharge is a very senior leader. But seniors should be giving blessings," he said.
Darda's book 'RINGSIDE – Up, Close and Personal on India and Beyond' was released by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and Sanjaya Baru, who was the media advisor to former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
In the election for the Congress president's post in October last year, Tharoor lost to Kharge, who was seen as the candidate backed by the top leadership of the party.
Kharge got 84.14 per cent votes of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates while Tharoor got 11.4 per cent votes.
Asked about it, Darda said, "Kharge is a senior leader, but Congress needs Shashi Tharoor".
"We need to attract youth," he said.
"It's a good thing Congress held the election. They had a candidate like Shashi Tharoor, who has international fame... They did not support him..." he said.
"He (Kharge) has won as an MP nine times, why was he not made the chief minister (of Karnataka)?" Darda questioned.
Darda, who has been a Rajya Sabha MP from Congress thrice, also wondered why so many senior leaders left the Congress.
"Why are big leaders exiting Congress? Like Ghulam Nabi Azad, he got everything, why did he leave? I am wondering, what kind of magnetic power does the BJP have?" he said.
Darda said he has written to party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi many times raising issues.
"If I am in the Congress, I have the right to speak. If I work for the party, I have the right to raise questions. If I ask a question in national interest, is it rebellion?" he said.
Darda also quipped, "Which party has internal democracy except for Congress?" The book is a captivating compilation of Darda's weekly articles which were published in the Lokmat Media Group newspapers and other prominent national and regional dailies of the country between 2011 and 2016.
As a follow-up to his earlier book “Straight Thoughts”, which encompassed articles from 2004 to 2011, this latest work delves into a diverse range of subjects beyond political developments and happenings, a press release said.
The book is a reflection of contemporary political, social, cultural and other significant happenings and developments.
Those attending the book launch included BJP leaders Varun Gandhi and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, NCP's Praful Patel, BSP's Danish Ali, J-K National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and CPI's D Raja.
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