Gehlot vs Tharoor contest likely for Congress President’s post

New Delhi: With the process for the Congress Presidential polls opening with the issuance of notification on September 22, it’s likely that the main contest for the top party post will be between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

Party sources said that interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi hinted that she does not have any reservations against Tharoor running for Congress President’s post.

Tharoor, who was one of the G-23 members of the party who had demanded sweeping reforms in Congress, is now likely to throw his hat into the ring for the race to the top party post, voting for which will be held on October 17.

While the notification for the Presidential election will be issued on September 22, there is still suspense over the candidates who will contest for the top party post.

While the G-23 group is gearing up to field a candidate and Thiruvananthapuram MP Tharoor is its top choice, for party loyalists, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is the preferred choice, sources said.

However, Gehlot is reportedly reluctant to leave chief ministership and move to Delhi. In that scenario, former Union minister Mukul Wasnik or the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, could emerge as the front-runners, as both belong to the Scheduled Caste community.

The nominations are to be filed between September 24 and September 30.

‘He is an international man, want Rahul’

MP Shashi Tharoor, who announced his intention to contest the poll, is finding no backing from the leaders of his home state of Kerala.

Many of them want Rahul Gandhi to return as chief, and the chorus is growing louder with more state units passing resolutions demanding the Wayanad MP take over the reins of the party.

Congress’ chief whip in the Lok Sabha, K Suresh, told India Today, “Shashi Tharoor should not contest. He is an international man.”

“There should be a consensus candidate. We are still requesting Rahul Gandhi to become Congress president,” he added.

Many Congress leaders and workers attribute the “tremendous response” that Bharat Jodo Yatra is getting to Rahul Gandhi.

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