Shashi Tharoor, the leader of the Congress, has come under fire for tweeting that it is ‘extremely rare’ for a member of a minority community to be appointed to the ‘most powerful office’ in the United Kingdom. He then questioned whether this could ever occur in India.
Sunak has enough support from the Conservatives to succeed David Cameron as the prime minister of the United Kingdom, according to reports. Tharoor tweeted, ‘If this does happen, I think all of us will have to acknowledge that the Brits have done something very rare in the world, to place a member of a visible minority in the most powerful office. Let’s be sincere and question, Can it happen here?, as we Indians celebrate @RishiSunak’s ascent’.
Twitter users, however, were quick to refute the Thiruvananthapuram MP’s claim and provided the example of Dr. Manmohan Singh, a member of the minority Sikh group who presided over India for two consecutive full terms between 2004 and 2014. Singh was a member of the minority Sikh community. Given that Tharoor was a member of Singh’s cabinet as well, many users were taken aback by his comments. Others used the social media site to mention a number of Muslim-American presidents of India.
Sunak, 42, wrote history on Tuesday when he became the country of Britain’s first Prime Minister of Indian descent. After Liz Truss resigned from her position as prime minister after an infamously brief tenure, Sunak was seen as the front-runner. Following allegations of numerous irregularities and election fraud in the most recent Congress party presidential elections, in which Tharoor was running against Mallikarjun Kharge, Tharoor has recently found himself in the centre of a controversy.
The party responded to the accusations made by Tharoor and his group by claiming that Tharoor was showing two different faces to the media and the Congress. On Monday, Tharoor tweeted a second photograph with the phrase, ‘Lagaan se Lagaam tak, in just 75 years,’ and included a shot from Aamir Khan’s Lagaan and a photo of Rishi Sunak.