THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid allegations of a ‘sudden slowdown’ in the poll campaigning of UDF candidate Shashi Tharoor, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has appointed Congress’ Nagpur constituency candidate and All India Kisan Congress chairman Nana Patole as the observer in Thiruvananthapuram. As per KPCC sources, Patole will station in Thiruvananthapuram till the completion of the polls and will oversee the election campaigning here.
“Thiruvananthapuram is witnessing a three-cornered fight. So any slowdown in the campaigning will have an adverse effect on the results. As the candidate himself feels that his campaigning falls behind his opponents, the party decided to intervene and appointed an observer,” said a source.
However, Shashi Tharoor told media there is nothing unusual in appointing an observer and the AICC had appointed such observers in various constituencies. Tharoor said he had never asked the leadership to appoint such an observer for overseeing the poll campaigning.
Patole, a former BJP MP from Bhandara-Gondiya constituency in Maharashtra, had then defeated senior Congress leader Praful Patel. He later became a vehement critic of Narendra Modi and joined the Congress in 2017. The party had fielded him in Nagpur constituency against sitting MP Nitin Gadkari in the present election.
Meanwhile, to review the performance of the party in the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik, who is in charge of Kerala, will hold a meeting with KPCC office-bearers on Sunday. He will also assess the preparations for the election campaigns of Congress president and Wayanad candidate Rahul Gandhi in Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Pathanapuram, Alappuzha and Wayanad.
Who is Patole?
A former BJP MP from Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra, Nana Patole had defeated Praful Patel. After turning a Narendra Modi- baiter, Patole joined the Congress in 2017. He is fighting Nitin Gadkari in the coming polls.