Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 06 December 2022 10.31 AM IST

Congress president election: Gehlot and Tharoor confirm contesting poll


NEW DELHI: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday amid growing buzz about a contest in presidential election in the party.

In an indication of his willingness to contest the presidential election, Gehlot said he is ready to discharge any responsibility given to him by the party. His remarks came ahead of his meeting with Sonia Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi is learnt to have told Gehlot that the election for party chief will be "free and fair" and she will not endorse any name.

Sources said she also conveyed that the issue of "one person, one post" will come if candidate is decided and gets elected.

There has been buzz in party circles about possible successor to Gehlot in Rajasthan if he contests and wins the party's presidential election.

The process of filing nominations for the post of party chief will begin on September 24 will continue till September 30. The election is scheduled for October 17 and the counting of votes will take place on October 19.

Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to contest the party's presidential elections, sources said on Tuesday.

Congress sources said Rahul Gandhi will not come to Delhi leaving the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra in between during the process of organisational election. The yatra is in Kerala at present and will enter Karnataka on September 29.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who has signalled his desire to contest the election to elect a new party chief, met the party's Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry on Wednesday.

Madhusudan Mistry later said they answered all queries of the party MP regarding the election of Congress president.

Mistry said those who want to contest for the post of president will need the signatures of 10 delegates.

He also said that a separate polling booth will not be made for party leaders on Bharat Jodo Yatris including Rahul Gandhi.

He said CEA can arrange for a postal ballot for Rahul Gandhi and other delegates on the yatra.

"A separate polling booth will not be made for Bharat Jodo Yatris like Rahul Gandhi as they are in the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra but if he informs us before time, we can take his vote through postal ballot for the Congress Presidential election," Mistry said.

Shashi Tharoor had met Sonia Gandhi on Monday and is learnt to have conveyed his intention to contest the party's presidential elections to "make internal democracy" in the party stronger.

Tharoor is a member of G23 which had written to Sonia Gandhi seeking sweeping reforms in the party.

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