Congress president election: Gehlot vs Tharoor on the cards?

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi: With Congress MP Shashi Tharoor conveying his intent to run for the Congress president and Sonia Gandhi approving the same saying 'anyone can contest and the elections would be held as per the electoral process', the Congress party enters days of fervour and eagerness.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is most likely to contest as the ‘official’ candidate with the support of the Gandhi family. Gehlot is to meet Sonia soon, it is being hinted.

Meanwhile, Rahul giving a break for Bharath Jodo Yathra for a day, and reaching Delhi on Thursday night, paved the way for many rumours. Congress sources clarified that Rahul is reaching Delhi to meet Sonia who is back after her medical treatment from London.

Rahul is to get back to Kerala on Friday night and resume Bharath Jodo Yathra from Chalakkudy the next morning.

Tharoor has met Sonia right before the issue of the notification for the Congress president election on Thursday. This was his first meeting with Sonia after his name started surfacing in connection with the Congress president election.

Tharoor pointed out that the election would strengthen the party and will help ensure democracy within the party. Sonia also agreed to this. It is being hinted that Tharoor would withdraw only if Rahul Gandhi is to contest.

Meanwhile, Jammu Kashmir, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu Pradesh Congress Committees also passed a resolution demanding Rahul Gandhi to be the party president. Telangana PCC is to pass a resolution tomorrow seeking the same.

If anyone from the Gandhi family or their followers were to contest, Manish Tewari had declared that he would run for the president against him/her. Though Tharoor and Tewari are part of the G 23 pro-reform group in Congress, there is no consensus between them.

While Tharoor’s move is to run for president with the approval of the Gandhi family, Tewari is considering contesting as a rebel candidate. Tharoor is also seeking ways to gain public acceptance for his candidature.

The voter list would be made available from today at the AICC headquarters for those who wish to contest the elections.

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