Not the critics who counts: Shashi Tharoor quotes Roosevelt’s famous speech as Congress polls inch closer


With just a few hours left for the nomination process to begin for the Congress presidential polls, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter quoting former US President Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech, ‘The Man in the Arena’.

The tweet comes a day after Congress leader Gourav Vallabh hit out at Shashi Tharoor over his probable Congress presidential poll bid, saying his “only major contribution” to the party was to send letters to Sonia Gandhi when she was hospitalised. In the first indicator of leaders taking sides in the upcoming contest for the top post, Vallabh also voiced support for another likely contender, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who many believe has the backing of the current leadership.

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Though Congress President Sonia Gandhi had greenlit Tharoor’s candidature, several leaders from Tharoor’s home state of Kerala said he was more of an ‘international man’, seeking Rahul Gandhi’s return as chief.

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Roosevelt’s ‘The Man in the Arena’, which he delivered on April 23, 1910, is one of the most quoted speeches of his career.

Several famous personalities have drawn inspiration from the speech for decades. Former US President Richard Nixon too quoted the famous speech in his resignation speech. It has a place in sports history, too. Before the 1995 World Cup, Nelson Mandela gave a copy of the passage to Francois Pienaar, captain of the South African rugby team—and they won, defeating the favored All Blacks of New Zealand.

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Nominations can be filed from September 24 to September 30. The date of scrutiny of the nomination papers is October 1, while October 8 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations.

If there is more than one candidate, then the election for the post of Congress chief will be on October 17, and on October 19, votes will be counted and results will be declared.

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