From UN to Lok Sabha - Tharoor gets ready to join politics

March 6th, 2009 - 2:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Author, columnist, former UN undersecretary general and now MP from his native state Kerala? That seems to be the way forward for the versatile Shashi Tharoor who has already informed the Congress party about his “willingness to serve the country as a member of parliament” and is just waiting for an answer.

“In conversations with state and national level Congress leaders, I have expressed my willingness to serve the country as a member of parliament, if the voters so decide,” Tharoor, who was India’s official candidate for the post of UN secretary general after Kofi Annan in 2006, told IANS from New York.

“Where I contest from is not up to me to decide. Wherever I am given the chance - wherever the party leadership decides that I can make a contribution - I will put in my best efforts to convince the voters that I am a worthy representative,” Tharoor, 56, said in an email interview.

The issue will come up before the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) election committee at its meeting Friday. State Congress leaders, who did not want to be named, said Tharoor was the first contender for the Palakkad constituency.

Tharoor, who has authored five non-fiction books as well as works like the “The Great Indian Novel”, said he wished to help the country overcome the challenges that it faces.

“I am conscious that we face a number of challenges, and I wish to do my best to help overcome them,” Tharoor said.

“My life has been devoted to public service on the international level; I would welcome the opportunity to bring my experience, energy and talents to the service of the people of my state and my country.”

The London-born Tharoor said he wanted to make a difference through politics, though he was not a politician.

“I am not a politician, but I see politics as a means to an end - the end being to influence the policies that determine the well-being of our people. I want to make a difference, and I believe I can.”

He also said he would be a strong advocate for the defence of India’s pluralist and secular democracy and also be an advocate of poorest in the society.

Tharoor, who began his career in 1978, when he joined the staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, added that he wanted to be an advocate of a “robust, realistic and independent foreign policy”.

“In addition to creative and constructive approaches to the specific problems of my constituency and state, I hope to be a strong advocate for the defence of our pluralist and secular democracy; an economic policy of growth that is focused on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable; and a robust, realistic and independent foreign policy.”

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