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Shashi Tharoor To Challenge Rahul Gandhi, Gathers Support For Congress Elections: Sources

Sources have confirmed that Shashi Tharoor is likely to run for the post of Congress president and has started contacting state party leaders for support

Image: PTI

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor is likely to appear as a challenger to Rahul Gandhi in the Congress presidential election scheduled for October 17. Speculations about Tharoor's entry in the party polls started doing the rounds after the Thiruvananthapuram MP wrote an article for a local newspaper in which he called for a “free and fair” election.

In the article, the 66-year-old said that ideally, the party should have announced elections for the dozen seats on the Congress Working Committee itself which are supposed to be elected.

“Allowing members of the party drawn from the AICC and PCC delegates to determine who will lead the party from these key positions, would have helped legitimize the incoming set of leaders and give them a credible mandate to lead the party,” commented Tharoor, who was among the G23 leaders who wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking organisational changes.

“Still, electing a fresh president is a start towards the revitalisation the Congress badly needs,” the MP added.

Sources have confirmed that Tharoor is likely to run for the post of Congress president and has started contacting state party leaders for support. As per sources, a senior lobby in the Congress is not in favour of Rahul Gandhi's return as AICC President and may give Tharoor a chance to lead the party.

While the Congress leader declined to comment on whether he would throw his hat into the ring, he told ANI, "I accept what I have written in my article, which is that elections will be a good thing for the Congress."

Will Rahul Gandhi be forced to be Congress chief again

Facing internal upheaval, Congress on Sunday announced that an election for its president would be held on October 17, and the result will be declared on October 19. Presently, the party is presided over by interim chief Sonia Gandhi. AICC general secretary organisation KC Venugopal said on Sunday that anybody can contest the polls, as it was an open election. 

The announcement came from several leaders, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, having publicly exhorted Rahul Gandhi to return as the party chief. As per sources, leaders close to the Wayanad MP are aggressively lobbying for his candidature though he is reportedly unwilling to contest the election.

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