In the Tharoor vs Gehlot battle the chance of a status quo returning is high
New Delhi, Sep 20: It would be a battle between veteran Ashok Gehlot and Shashi Tharoor and the Congress is likely to get its first non-Gandhi president in 20 years.
Tharoor who is a former union minister declared his intention to run for the post which has been under the control of the Gandhis for nearly 25 years. Tharoor is also a prominent member of the G-23 group of the Congress which had written to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 calling for an overhaul of the organisation.
The group had also blamed the party's downward spiral on a leadership drift.
Tharoor met with Sonia Gandhi on Monday afternoon and got her go-ahead to contest the internal elections. However the fight for Tharoor became harder with Gehlot entering the fray. Gehlot a staunch Gandhi loyalist has been pressing for the return of Rahul Gandhi at the helm and is likely to get the backing of a majority.
"Anybody who wants to contest is free and welcome to do so. This has been the consistent position of the Congress Party and Rahul Gandhi. This is an open, democratic and transparent process. Nobody needs anybody's nod to contest," Jairam Ramesh, Congress MP and the party's general secretary in charge of communications said.
The filing of nominations would take place in the next three days and the election will take place in the backdrop of several exits from the party. The last to leave was Ghulam Nahi Azad which led to an exodus out of the party by several in the Kashmir unit.
Rahul Gandhi who is currently leading the Bharat Jodo Yatra has refused to return as president despite a demand from a section of Congress leaders including Gehlot.