Will the G-23 (group of 23) put up a candidate for the Congress presidential polls? If yes, will it be Shashi Tharoor or Ashok Gehlot or Manish Tewari?
While sources claim there are high chances that Tharoor may contest, he told News18: “I am yet to finalise.”
Tharoor incidentally met Sonia Gandhi recently. Sources claim she has made it clear that she won’t back any candidate nor show any kind of support for any person who chooses to contest. There is no clarity on whether Tharoor will contest as a G-23 member or on his own.
Amid the speculation and news reports, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said: “Anybody who wants to contest is free and welcome to do so. This has been the consistent position of the Congress and Rahul Gandhi. It is an open, democratic and transparent process. Nobody needs anybody’s nod to contest.”
G-23 WANTS TO PUT UP CANDIDATE
After a moment of lull and some exits, the G-23 has gone active and has a plan up their sleeves. Some of the members of the erstwhile G-23 met to chalk out their plan for the upcoming Congress presidential polls. Sources confirmed to News18 that they have decided to put up a candidate.
Who will be the next #Congress President? Will #BharatJodoYatra help the grand old party regain it’s popularity? Will #AAP be able to dent #BJP‘s majority in Gujarat? All this and much more in this week’s #PowerCircuit with @AmanKayamHai_ & @_pallavighosh #chandigarhuniversity pic.twitter.com/nbcbExHmIh
— News18 (@CNNnews18) September 19, 2022
There is still no clarity on who the person may be. But one of the leaders who attended the meeting told News18: “After having pressured the Congress leadership to hold organisational polls and also give clarity on the list of electors, how can we not contest? We, too, have to prove a point.”
The point being they are not scared to take a risk.
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This development comes in the midst of several Congress state units passing a resolution that Rahul Gandhi must be made the president of the party. Madhusudan Mistry, the chief electoral officer who is overseeing the polls, told News18: “These resolutions are not binding on us. We have prepared a list of electors and it is available for those who want to contest to see. If there is more than one candidate, we will have an election.”
Sources say that Sonia Gandhi is unimpressed with the resolutions. She, like Rahul Gandhi, wants it to be a free and open poll and no one will be targetted later, in case anyone wishes to contest against say Rahul Gandhi (if he decides to contest). So far, Gandhi remains disinterested and reluctant despite the resolutions.
THAROOR OR GEHLOT?
All eyes are on Ashok Gehlot and Shashi Tharoor for now. Gehlot remains reluctant to leave state politics and pave way for his opponent Sachin Pilot in the state. But some in the party think that Gehlot with his vast experience and administrative skills could be a good person to lead the party in the run-up to the 2024 polls. That is, if Rahul Gandhi refuses to sign the nomination papers.
There is still no clarity on whether he has made up his mind. But there are high chances that he is keen. It is also about proving a point. Tharoor and many like him may not win the elections, but having fought and taken the risk would win them political points.
I welcome this petition that is being circulated by a group of young @INCIndia members, seeking constructive reforms in the Party. It has gathered over 650 signatures so far. I am happy to endorse it & to go beyond it. https://t.co/2yPViCDv0v pic.twitter.com/waGb2kdbTu
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 19, 2022
Which comes back to an official G-23 candidate. Tharoor has been a signatory to the G-23’s first letter and has been raising his voice regarding the need for polls. So much so that Tharoor even said that contesting for the top post must not be prerogative of any one family.
Ghulam Nabi Azad for having quit the party. “The idea was to stay with the Congress and fight for our point. His leaving has emboldened those in the party who had cast doubts on us at the CWC, which was called to discuss the letter.”
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So is the anger with some like Anand Sharma for not being as open in his criticism as he was earlier. Hence only that person, should the G-23 firm up its plans, be the candidate who has not been hesitant in mincing words. Could this person be Manish Tewari?
As the process for polls begins, it’s anybody’s guess whether Rahul Gandhi will change his mind.
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