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Salman Khurshid joins issue with Shashi Tharoor

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Bengaluru, Oct 01: Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Saturday joined issue with Shashi Tharoor, who has said his electoral competitor in the AICC presidential poll, M Mallikarjun Kharge was a "candidate of continuity" and of "status quo", while those wanting change in the party should vote for him.

Khurshid, who is among the leaders who have backed Kharge, also indicated that if consensus emerges on the poll, it will be good; if not and the election does take place as scheduled on October 17, there will be no regrets.

Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid

"Shashi says this (Kharge) has elements of continuity, his (Tharoor's) has elements of change. But continuity and change are subjective terms, relative terms", the former Union Minister told PTI.

"I think that the very fact that we are having this election is a re-emphasis of continuity with change because it's not the first time that we are having elections. And that elections in the past have had certain features; this has its own features. So, for us, this is all welcome", he said.

"We just want to get to that destination that the party comes out stronger and more determined that the efforts being put in by Rahul Gandhi...those efforts will then spread across the full campaign against the things we oppose", Mr Khurshid added.

A non-Gandhi president is not a magical wand for a Congress revivalA non-Gandhi president is not a magical wand for a Congress revival

He said he has no opinion at all when asked if he favours consensus, as the last day for withdrawal of nomination is not over.

"I have no opinion. Let's go the way we are going. If anything (consensus) happens, emerges, well and good; if it does not, no regrets", Khurshid said.

Tharoor on Friday called Mr Kharge, 80, a "candidate of continuity", an apparent reference to the impression in some quarters that the Karnataka leader is the choice of the Gandhis.

"I am not surprised that the establishment is rallying behind the status quo. If you want the status quo, I think you should vote for Kharge. If you want change and progress with an eye to the rest of the 21st century, then I hope I will stand for that change," the Thiruvananthapuram MP had said.

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