Looks like the race to become the next Congress President is going to be interesting. Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday (September 19) met Sonia Gandhi and told her that he wants to contest the poll for next party chief. He has reportedly got the go ahead from Gandhi, who said she would stay "neutral" in the elections.
"Anyone is free to contest the Congress presidential poll," Sonia Gandhi told Shashi Tharoor today when the MP conveyed his decision to the party's interim chief at 10, Janpath, sources in the Congress told India Today TV.
Tharoor, along with fellow party leaders Deepender Hooda, Jai Prakash Agarwal and Vijendra Singh, met Sonia Gandhi at her home on Monday.
Constructive reforms: Tharoor on Monday endorsed a petition by a group of young party members seeking "constructive reforms". The petition shared by Tharoor on Twitter sought reforms and a pledge by AICC president candidates to implement the Udaipur Declaration in entirety, if elected. The former Union minister said it had been signed by over 650 people so far.
"I welcome this petition that is being circulated by a group of young @INCIndia members, seeking constructive reforms in the Party. It has gathered over 650 signatures so far. I am happy to endorse it & to go beyond it," Tharoor tweeted with screenshots of the petition.
I welcome this petition that is being circulated by a group of young @INCIndia members, seeking constructive reforms in the Party. It has gathered over 650 signatures so far. I am happy to endorse it & to go beyond it. https://t.co/2yPViCDv0v pic.twitter.com/waGb2kdbTu— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 19, 2022
Election details: The process for filing nominations for the election of Congress chief will be held from September 24 to September 30.
The last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 8 and the election, if required, will be held on October 17. The results will be out on October 19.
Shashi Tharoor vs Ashok Gehlot? There were reports of senior party leader and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot being considered if Gandhis decide not to contest. That is, if he decides to file the nomination. If Gehlot emerges as the other leader to file nomination, it will be a contest between him and Tharoor.
Gehlot, a staunch Gandhi family loyalist, had been pressing for Rahul Gandhi's return as party chief and is likely to win support among those batting for status quo and a return of Rahul Gandhi at the top post, reported NDTV.
Why Congress needs a new party chief: Rahul Gandhi had resigned as Congress chief after the party suffered a huge defeat in parliamentary elections in 2019. His mother Sonia Gandhi took over the reins of the party again as interim president.
She had offered to quit the top party post in 2020 after an open revolt by senior members of the party. But the Congress Working Committee (CWC) took control of the situation and urged Sonia Gandhi to continue.
Congress's performance has not improved since then and they have lost some big elections. During this time, some of the big party leaders have also left the Congress while many are still disgruntled.