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In a 42-minute interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, Shashi Tharoor insisted that he was not being naïve in accepting the assurance he was given by all three Gandhis that they would not surreptitiously or unofficially back a favourite candidate. The interview discusses at length the fact that, despite the assurance the Gandhis gave him, its widely believed that Mallikarjun Kharge has Gandhi backing, a point corroborated by the long list of leaders who accompanied Kharge when he filed his nomination, the fact that he spoke to the media within the premises of the Congress Party office and began by saying he had filed his nomination “Congress Party ke aur se”.
Speaking about the role Rahul Gandhi would play if Shashi Tharoor becomes Congress President, Mr. Tharoor said that this would be jointly decided by him and the Gandhi family. However, Mr. Tharoor disagreed with Mr. Chidambaram’s distinction (made in an interview to PTI and in his Indian Express column) between the President of the Congress Party and the Leader of the Congress Party. Mr. Chidambaram’s point was that no matter who becomes president Rahul will be leader and by far more important.
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