It's Tharoor's own decision to contest Congress President Polls, says Kerala MP
Shashi Tharoor met with Sonia Gandhi on Monday and expressed his intention to contest for AICC president in the upcoming elections. According to sources, the Congress chief has also stated that she will be 'neutral' in the polls. The upcoming elections will undoubtedly be historic, as the new president will take over from Sonia Gandhi, the party's longest-serving leader.
The reported decision of Shashi Tharoor to contest for President of the Congress did not go down well in Kerala, with a senior leader on Tuesday calling it a personal decision of the Thiruvananthapuram MP and another emphasising that the state unit would vote only for those who recognise the prominence of the Nehru family.
On the sidelines of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Tharoor's Lok Sabha colleagues from the state, Kodikunnil Suresh and K Muraleedharan were reportedly dissatisfied with the reported move.
Both MPs clarified that the state party wanted Rahul Gandhi to be the party's leader.
While talking to the media, Suresh said, "If he is unwilling to accept the position, a person acceptable to the AICC and the majority of leaders and workers should be appointed. The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee and all of us wish this."
The Lok Sabha member, Suresh, stated that Tharoor decided to contest for office on his own and that it was unclear whether he had deliberated at the party level in this regard.
Therefore, Tharoor's candidacy for party president is not regarded as a 'serious contest,' he claims.
Suresh added, "As far as the party is concerned, the precedent was to choose a person acceptable to the majority of party leaders and workers."
The poll for the top job was intended for this purpose, and if an election is held, the person with the most votes will be elected president. Furthermore, "Thus, I do not believe Tharoor's candidacy will cause a schism in the party."
Meanwhile, Muraleedharan, a senior party leader and Vadakara MP, said the state party would vote only for those who recognise the importance of the Nehru family. He expressed his desire for Rahul Gandhi to take over as party leader, saying the Nehru scion's refusal to accept the position was a concern for everyone.
"There is no doubt that Rahul Gandhi should accept the position. However, he can accept or decline the position," according to the former KPCC chief.
According to the leader, a clear picture of the Congress president poll will be known on September 30, and the Yatra will cross the state's borders the following day. "In any case, we will vote only for those who acknowledge the prominence of the Nehru family," Muraleedharan added.
After more than two decades, the Congress will likely see a contest for party chief, with Shashi Tharoor expected to enter the fray after meeting Sonia Gandhi and Ashok Gehlot expected to be the other contender.
Tharoor met Sonia Gandhi on Monday and announced his intention to contest for AICC president in the upcoming elections. According to sources, the Congress chief also said she would remain 'neutral' in the polls.
The upcoming elections would undoubtedly be historic, as the new president would succeed Sonia Gandhi, the party's longest-serving leader. The latter has been in charge since 1998, except for the two years between 2017 and 2019, when Rahul Gandhi took over.
Nominations for the election will be accepted from September 24 to September 30. The deadline for withdrawing nominations is October 8, and the election, if necessary, will take place on October 17. The results will be available on October 19.
(With inputs from PTI)