The Congress party is in for a true election for the first time in more than two and half decades. Rahul Gandhi is not going to contest. Sonia’s reign that has been continuing for more than twenty years would come to an end and a non-Gandhi would take over the party organization after 25 years, although Gandhis will be very much there in the background. Sonia Gandhi relinquished her office as the Congress chief in favour of her son Rahul Gandhi. However, when Rahul quit as a matter of principle after losing the 2019 elections, Sonia had to take back the reins and run the show despite her failing health. Leading Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kerala presently, Rahul had refused to get back into the top post despite more than half a dozen PCCs passing resolutions requesting him to take over the party.
While Ashok Gehlot will be the Gandhi loyalist, Shashi Tharoor will represent those seniors who wanted reforms in the party on a large scale. Shashi Tharoor was the first to declare his intention to contest for the post of party president though he did not confirm his candidature till Monday. He was seen vacillating. Tharoor is a prominent member of the Group-23 which had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi urging her to introduce reforms. A host of leaders including top guns such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibbal,Amarinder Singh, RPN Singh, Ashwini Kumar, Sunil akhar, Hardik Patel left the party ever since because of prevailing uncertainty.
Shashi Tharoor met Sonia Gandhi on Monday afternoon soon after she returned from abroad after a medical check-up. She wished Tharoor all the best and gave her go-ahead to the three-time MP from Tiruvananthapuram. He is a known and popular face and he is a highly accomplished politician with UN background and the experience of fighting and losing the election for the post of Secretary General of the UNO.
Shashi Tharoor will most probably face Rajasthan Chief Minister and a staunch Gandhi-loyalist Ashok Gehlot. He will be the organisation’s man with Gandhis’ support and the backing of those who have been craving for status quo. Tharoor and some other Group-23 leaders have called for transparency in the party presidential election. They demanded that the electoral rolls be put in the public domain. The demand was conceded by the party high command. Tharoor signed on Monday morning a memorandum of young Congress leaders who wanted the party to be revamped. The presidential election will be held in the third week of October. The filing of nomination would begin on the 22nd.
It is going to be a big ticket election with Gehlot and Tharoor vying for the top job.