He said Sreedharan's entry came as a surprise to him because the technocrat had a long innings executing engineering projects, not making or implementing policies in a fractious democracy. "It's a very different world," he added.
Asked what kind of impact Sreedharan could have on the Kerala Assembly polls, the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said, "Since he has no political background or experience, I think his impact is likely to be minimal."
"When I joined politics
at 53, I thought I had left it too late to make the kind of impact I felt I was capable of. What can I say about someone who is 88?" Tharoor said.
On whether Sreedharan's entry will make the Kerala polls a three-way contest and the BJP will emerge as a serious contender alongside the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF), he said the BJP is not a serious contender at all except in a handful of seats, and it will be very difficult for the party to improve upon the one seat it won last time.
"The high point of the impact (of Sreedharan) will turn out to be this announcement itself," the 64-year-old former Union minister said.
Sreedharan, who recently announced that he will enter the political fray by joining the BJP, had told PTI last week that he will contest the assembly elections if the BJP wants and will also be open to chief ministership if the party asks.
Known as the 'Metroman' and for completing big infrastructure projects, the 88-year-old technocrat has also said his main aim is to help the BJP come to power in Kerala.
Sreedharan's entry into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is being seen as a major boost for the party in election-bound Kerala. The state has been ruled by the LDF and the Congress-led UDF alternately for the past many years.
Tharoor said the UDF has the talent, the experience and the creative energy to build a new narrative for the future of Kerala.
"What I am working on is intended to be, above all, a 'people's manifesto' -- not just about what the Congress will do for the people of Kerala, but what the people of Kerala want and expect the Congress to do for them," said Tharoor, who has been entrusted by the Congress in bringing various pertinent issues into the UDF's election manifesto.
"That is why it is so important to seek suggestions and inputs from the people, about what they judge to be lacking in their lives that a receptive and inclusive government would seek to provide," he said.
The end product should reflect a vision for 21st century Kerala, and lay out some practical directions for the state to unleash its true potential and develop into a progressive and self-reliant place, offering abundant opportunities to its people, especially the youth, Tharoor said.
"I see our 'Talk To Tharoor' campaign as an opportunity for the UDF to serve the people of Kerala through creative ideas, responsible governance and the courage and confidence to rise to the aspirations of our people," he said.
It is sad but true that Keralites flourish everywhere in the world they go to, more easily than in Kerala, Tharoor argued.
"We must remove the obstacles that prevent Keralites from thriving in Kerala. The UDF has the talent, the experience and the creative energy to build a new narrative for the future," he said.
The polls for the 140-member Kerala Assembly are likely to be held in April-May this year.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.