New Delhi, Sep 20: Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to contest the Congress party’s presidential election scheduled to be held next month, reported news agency ANI.
Sources in the Congress have told the news agency that he will not return to Delhi amidst his ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra.
At this stage, the 150-day yatra, which started on September 7, is passing through Kerala.
The development comes at a time when ‘Make Rahul Gandhi AICC president again’ chorus is growing louder in Congress with over half a dozen state units so far seeking his elevation to the top post. Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Bihar units have passed resolutions, urging Gandhi to be made the party chief.
Similar resolutions were passed in 2017 before Rahul Gandhi was elevated as the Congress president. He, however, stepped down in 2019 after the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot are reportedly the two top probable contenders for the office of the party President.
Tharoor, who was among the group of 23 leaders who had written to Gandhi in 2020 demanding organisational overhaul, met interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday and she has reportedly given her nod for him to contest the poll. Sources close to the party have told ANI that Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has been “trying to persuade Rahul Gandhi” to contest rather than his own nomination.
The notification for the Congress president’s election will be out on September 22 and the process for filing nominations will be held from September 24 to 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.
With the Pradesh Congress committees passing resolutions seeking Rahul Gandhi at the helm of AICC, party General Secretary, Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said such measures have no binding effect.
Speaking to reporters during the break time of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he said if consensus was not possible, then the party was ready to go for an election and 9,000 PCC delegates will elect the president in a democratic manner, PTI reported.
Reacting to a query about seven PCCs passing resolutions asking Gandhi to be the President of the party, the former Union Minister said Congressmen are enthusiastic as they have been watching Gandhi walking for the past 13 days.
“But nobody asked anyone to pass any resolution. The congress party workers are enthusiastic. Rahul Gandhi has not asked anyone to pass any resolution. the Congress President has not asked anyone. They have been watching Gandhi walking for the past 13 days. They know the pain he is undergoing everyday. They all can relate to him. It’s natural that they pass the resolution. But the resolution has no binding effect,” Ramesh said.
Story first published: Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 19:08 [IST]