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‘We are not electing an individual’: Shashi Tharoor on Modi vs who

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor did not name any opposition leader when asked about who could take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and emphasised the importance of prioritising principles and convictions over “individual personalities in India’s parliamentary system”.

Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor (File Photo)

Tharoor said a journalist had asked him about the alternative to PM Modi. He said that the question of who could be an alternative to PM Modi is “irrelevant” in the parliamentary because we do not elect an individual, but a party or coalition of parties.

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“Yet again a journalist has asked me to identify an individual who is the alternative to Mr Modi,” he wrote on X.

Tharoor said, unlike a presidential system, the Indian electorate is not electing an individual. Hence, the question is irrelevant.

He added, “We are not electing an individual (as In a presidential system), but a party, or coalition of parties, that represents a set of principles and convictions that are invaluable to preserve India’s diversity, pluralism and inclusive growth.”

Tharoor added that the alternative to Modi is not a single person but “a group of experienced, capable, and diverse Indian leaders” who prioritise the nation’s welfare over individual ego.

“Which specific person they will choose to be Prime Minister is a secondary consideration. Protecting our democracy and diversity comes first,” he added.

Tharoor’s post comes amidst ongoing discussions and speculation surrounding the upcoming general elections and the search for a viable alternative to the incumbent PM.

The question – “If not Modi, then who”, has been a rhetoric in the present political scenario. Like Tharoor, Indian actress Swara Bhaskar and Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra have also been very vocal in replying to this rhetoric.

Bhaskar’s last year column in The Week said this question is “the favourite quip” when people want to end an uncomfortable discussion about the tragic trajectory “Indian politics and society have taken under Narendra Modi’s ‘New India”.

Moitra, earlier while speaking in favour of the no-confidence motion in the parliament had said, “Anyone but Modi.”

Tharoor’s remarks shed light on the broader political landscape, urging a shift in focus towards overarching principles rather than individual candidates.

Tharoor is a three-time member of parliament from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. The Congress has fielded him in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections against Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Left Front’s Pannyan Ravindra.

Tharoor will submit his nomination as the Congress candidate for Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency on Wednesday.

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