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'Tharoor never had time for his Thiruvananthapuram constituency'

By Arun Lakshman
Last updated on: April 19, 2010 17:45 IST
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Far away from New Delhi and twitter, what do people in Thiruvananthapuram say about their beleaguered MP Shashi Tharoor? Arun Lakshman gauge the mood in Kerala'a capital.

The unceremonious exit of Shashi Tharoor as a minister has evoked mixed reaction in his constituency Thiruvananthapuram, from where he romped home by more than one lakh votes. 

Youths, particularly IT professionals, expressed solidarity with Tharoor while many in the other walks of life say their MP has let them down.  

Congress leader and a former minister Pandalam Sudhakaran blamed Tharoor's advisors for the downfall.

R Jeevakumar, Tharoor's former aide, was more forthcoming. While speaking to, he said, "Tharoor is hard-working, sincere and suave. However his spontaneous reactions and his choice of wrong advisors are his undoing. He never had time to meet the people of his constituency. His New Delhi office never responded properly to calls that came from his constituency, antagonizing many voters and Congress workers."

Rajesh Venugopal, a young IT professional, said: "Tharoor is a promising politician with a spotless career at the United Nations and we had high expectations from him .However, I feel that he has let down us a bit. He should never have associated with such an event while the people of Thiruvananthapuram were expecting several things for the development of the constituency from him, given his contacts and his high-profile image."

"Tharoor has let us down, but I do give him the benefit of doubt and wants him to concentrate more on his constituency and to attend to the day-to-day affairs of the people of his constituency. This will help him to get connected with the people directly which would benefit him ultimately as a politician."

Sheeba Vargheese, a teacher at a leading public school, said, "Tharoor is a high-flying personality. We did a mistake of voting for him. If Tharoor is sincere, he should have resigned in the first instance itself rather than wait for the prime minister to come back and give him a dressing down. I feel that he should also resign from the Lok Sabha seat and do whatever he wants."

Roy Mathew, a senior journalist, said: "Tharoor underestimated the Indian media and the Indian politician .He would have done better had he got some saner advises and he has spoilt a major opportunity which had come his way to serve the people .He got entangled in the high society life in India. People of Kerala and his constituency will never forgive him for his alleged involvement in these murky dealings .It is crystal clear that he had flouted all norms while sending his OSD to mediate during the IPL bidding in Chennai."

Sudhir Babu, an auto-rikshaw driver, said, "I would say Tharoor acted rather foolishly. Everybody knows he had a great stint at the UN, but he failed to read the pulse of Indian politics."

Also Read: Fall of a Hero: Voices from Twitterland

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Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram