Tharoor gets Congress ticket, calls it a ‘challenge’ (Lead)

March 20th, 2009 - 12:57 am ICT by IANS  

Govinda Thiruvananthapuram, March 19 (IANS) Former UN under-secretary general Shashi Tharoor was Thursday named the Congress candidate for the key Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat, and he said he would “take this as a challenge”.
“First of all, I take this as a challenge and now since there are only four weeks left, I have to work hard. I will be meeting as many people as possible,” Tharoor told a TV channel here soon after the Congress released its list of candidates for the state in New Delhi.

One of the politicians Tharoor is pitted against is Ramachandran Nair, the current Thiruvananthapuram district secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the candidate of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF).

Another formidable opponent is Neelalohithadasan Nadar, who as a Congress candidate in 1980 trounced CPI leader M.N. Govindan Nair. Nadar this time is contesting as the candidate of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to name its candidate.

Tharoor earlier Thursday visited Congress leader K. Karunakaran and sought his support and blessings. He is set to formally launch his campaign at the district party headquarters here Friday.

Tharoor began his career in 1978 when he joined the staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva. He has authored five non-fiction books as well as works like the “The Great Indian Novel”.

Tharoor was among the 16 candidates the Congress named Thursday from Kerala. The candidate for Vadakara seat would be announced later. The party is not contesting from three constituencies in the state.

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