Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh): Clearing the air of speculation over his nomination for the All India Congress Committee (AICC) presidential election Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Friday said that he was not in the race for the party chief.
Addressing a press conference in Jabalpur, the veteran leader said that he would not contest the Congress Presidential election, but he would follow the instruction given to him by the higher authority in the party.
There is an intense build-up to the Congress president election after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot confirmed his candidature on Friday. Gehlot also confirmed that Rahul Gandhi has made it clear that "no member of the Gandhi family" would become the next party chief.
With this, a reshuffle in the Rajasthan cabinet is also expected because if Gehlot holds the post of party chief, he will have to resign from his CM post as Rahul Gandhi on Thursday made it clear that there will be "one person, one post" norm. In that case, there is also a possibility that Sachin Pilot could be elevated in Rajasthan Describing the post of Congress president as an "ideological post", Rahul Gandhi said the position "represents a set of ideas and belief system and vision of India".
Meanwhile, with Digvijay Singh's clearance, Ashok Gehlot and Shashi Tharoor are the top contenders for the post now and this has brought the congress leaders to two different edges.
The Congress leader Gourav Vallabh on Thursday slammed at Shashi Tharoor over his possible president poll bid and said that Tharoor has given his only major contribution to the party to write a letter to Sonia Gandhi at the time she was hospitalised.
Talking about Ashok Gehlot and Shashi Tharoor as a contender for party president, Gaurav Vallabh said that there is no comparison between both of them and his choice is simple and clear in case Rahul Gandhi would not contest for the post.
"Like crores of workers, my first wish is that Rahul Gandhi ji should provide his leadership to the Congress and the country. But if Rahul Gandhi ji remains firm on his decision of not taking up the Congress chief post and one has to choose between the two names that are appearing in public discussion, then there is no comparison between the two," Vallabh said in a series of tweets.
"On one hand, there is Ashok Gehlot who has the experience of being a Union minister, three times chief minister, five times MP, five times MLA, and who has defeated PM Modi- Amit Shah in a direct contest and who has had 45 years of spotless political life," he said in another tweet.
"On the other hand there is Shashi Tharoor sahib who has only one major contribution to the party in the last 8 years -- sent letters to Congress President Sonia Gandhi ji when she was hospitalized, this act caused pain to crores of party workers like me. The choice is very simple and clear," he said.
Notably, a letter was sent to Sonia Gandhi in August 2020 by G 23 leaders, including Tharoor seeking large-scale reforms in the party.
On September 19, Shashi Tharoor met Sonia Gandhi at her residence in the national capital where he expressed his wish to contest the polls to "make internal democracy" in the party stronger. Gandhi giving her nod to the Thiruvananthapuram MP said that anybody can contest elections. Tharoor had also met with the party's Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry on Wednesday.
The process of filing nominations for the post of party chief will begin on September 24 and will continue till September 30. The election is scheduled for October 17 and the counting of votes will take place on October 19.
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