Online campaign
The Congress MP said that he was surprised and touched by the petition.
Shashi Tharoor/Facebook

In the past few days, a certain change.org petition has being shared widely. The petition is addressed to the President of the Indian National Congress and asks for the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, to be the party’s prime ministerial candidate for 2019. 

The petition went viral and won so much support that Tharoor himself took notice and responded to it on Friday.

In a Facebook post, Tharoor wrote that while he initially chose to ignore the petition, he now feels obliged to respond, given the attention it has gained in the media. He noted that he was “surprised and touched” by the campaign but that he neither supports nor endorses it.

And much to the disappointment of his admirers, Tharoor has said that he wants the petition withdrawn.

While thanking the person from his constituency who started the petition as well as the people who signed it for their faith in him, Tharoor pointed out that he was a Congress MP “nothing more and nothing less.” He also called to attention the impracticality of the petition vis-a-vis the hierarchy in the party. Tharoor wrote:

“The party has a settled leadership, which is not up for debate. When changes occur they do so through an established procedure.”

Tharoor assured those who had supported the petition that he shared their “aspiration for a better India”, but that this could best be realised “through the Indian National Congress and the values it enshrines”.

Tharoor ended his note by saying that he would continue to work “in Parliament, in Thiruvananthapuram, and in articulating my hopes for India and the ideas that make India” but on those platforms made available to him by the Congress and through his writing.

Read his full post here: