Himanta Sarma vs Shashi Tharoor: War of words between BJP and Congress over ‘courageous’ leaders | India News

NEW DELHI: Himanta Biswa Sarma and Shashi Tharoor‘s verbal battle over Congress leaders flocking to the saffron camp escalated the conflict between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, which was already intensifying ahead of the crucial elections.
On Saturday, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took a jibe at the Congress over the recent elections for the party president, saying he expects those who voted for Shashi Tharoor to join the BJP soon.
Notably, Sarma, a current key figure in the BJP hierarchy, once served in the Congress.

Sarma also slammed his former party for electing Mallikarjun Kharge as its chief and said if Shashi Tharoor would have won the polls for the post, he would have said democracy has arrived in the Congress.
Talking about those who voted for Tharoor in the polls, Sarma said there are a lot of good-thinking people in the Congress and they will come to the BJP soon. “These 1,000 people who voted for Shashi Tharoor, I think they would be the ones joining the BJP in six months or one year,” he claimed.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who was one of the candidates in the recent internal elections, responded sharply to the Sarma’s jab at the party over the polls. He said only those lacking the courage to fight are tempted to join the BJP.

Besides, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit also hit back at Sarma and said that he voted for Shashi Tharoor in the recent elections for the party president just to ensure that people like him are not promoted in Congress.
In a video, the Thiruvananthapuram MP repled to Sarma’s statement, saying, “Those who show courage will never join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Only the ones who do not have the courage to fight might be tempted to do so.”
Meanwhile, rejecting the argument that the BJP does not hold democratic internal polls, Sarma said any BJP president has to go through a democratic process and that person cannot be remote-controlled.
Sarma also said that in 2024, the BJP will be expanding to two-three states and this expansion will continue for another two elections. “By 2029, you will see the BJP everywhere in the country,” he added.
Notably, ahead of the elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, several leaders have jumped ship to the BJP, including Gujarat’s Patidar leader, Hardik Patel.
Tharoor was rivalling senior party colleague Mallikarjun Kharge for the post of party president. Kharge trounced Tharoor to become the first non-Gandhi Congress president in 24 years.
Kharge received 7,897 votes in the presidential contest to Tharoor‘s 1,072 in the October 17 polls. He was elected Congress president on October 19.
Soon after his poll victory, Kharge said the party has presented an “example of strengthening the country’s democracy by conducting organisational elections” at a time when “democracy is in danger” in the country.
(With inputs from agencies)

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