Shashi Tharoor starts poll campaign - online

Shashi Tharoor, former UN under-secretary general and now Congress candidate from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, started his election campaign today through a website.

delhi Updated: Mar 20, 2009 14:33 IST

Shashi Tharoor, former UN under-secretary general and now Congress candidate from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, started his election campaign on Friday through a website.

Through the site,, the former international bureaucrat lists out his promises, vision and also spells out reasons why he is the best choice for an MP.

"I will work with dedication and sincerity for your well-being. My beliefs and principles will never be for sale. I will never lie to you or intentionally mislead you. You can always count on me to do my best," promises Tharoor.

Late on Thursday, Tharoor was named the Congress candidate for the Thiruvananthapuram seat. His main challenge is from Left Democratic Front candidate Ramachandran Nair, a Communist Party of India (CPI) leader.

Another opponent is Bahujan Samaj Party's Neelalohithadasan Nadar, who as a Congress candidate in 1980 trounced CPI leader MN Govindan Nair.

The website, in both English and Malayalam, also has Tharoor's resume and photos that show him with world leaders like former Cuban president Fidel Castro, late pope John Paul-II, former South African president Nelson Mandela, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former US president Bill Clinton and former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf.

Commenting on his decision to enter political life, Tharoor says: "Politics is an opportunity for public service, not for self-advancement. Government exists to serve the citizen and not the other way around.

"The principles and values I have upheld all my life should not be altered to suit the political convenience of the moment, and my only purpose is to work for the well-being of the people of my country, my state and my constituency."

Tharoor, who faced challenges from a section of Congress workers against his candidature, said Thiruvananthapuram is his favourite place in India.

"Our state (Kerala's) capital offers both well-laid-out city space and a coastal setting of great beauty. Beaches, palm trees, verdant green and gleaming new buildings and malls make for an extraordinary combination that is difficult for other places to match."

"At the same time, one of our challenges in this first decade of the 21st century is to make Thiruvananthapuram a truly global city."

"Kerala should become a knowledge economy. Over 50 percent of India's space scientists are already here. The new Indian Institute of Science Education and Research and the Indian Space Institute are coming up here. We must strengthen this as our USP (unique selling proposition) and attract more such institutions to take advantage of the natural and human resources we offer," says Tharoor, who is also a well known author.

"I will be a tireless advocate for Thiruvananthapuram nationally, internationally, and above all, locally. And I will ensure complete transparency about what I am doing with your mandate. I will publish details regularly of my actions and initiatives, provide full and audited accounts of the expenditure of MPLADS (MP Local Area Development Scheme," Tharoor promises his voters.

First Published: Mar 20, 2009 14:26 IST