Will Thiruvananthapuram Congress Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor, known for his proficiency in English language, emerge as a "dark horse" or seen as a "black sheep" after the dust on the Congress presidential polls settles.

Preliminary indications are that he has already sprang a huge surprise with 15 top Congress supporting his candidature to the top party post.

Tharoor, who completed a hat trick of wins from the prestigious Lok Sabha seat here has never been the darling of the Congress leaders ever, especially in the state capital, as his impressive track record, outside of the political arena, has unnevered several, say critics.

Hence, his decision of contesting for the party president's post was greeted with scorn by many Congress leaders here. The normally silent veteran 81-year-old former Defence Minister A.K.Antony said Tharoor never said anything to him about his candidature.

Contrary to the general perception that he will find it hard to get anyone to sign his nomination papers, he found supporters in 15 of his leaders.

Tharoor sprang a huge surprise and reportedly his supporters are from all sections of the faction-ridden party in Kerala,