Congress presidential poll: Will Manish Tiwari too enter the fray?

Shashi Tharoor, Ashok Gehlot, Manish Tewari. Design: Onmanorama

New Delhi: The election for the new president of the All-India Congress Committee may witness an intense triangular contest. Besides Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who announced his candidature for the top party post, and senior leader Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tiwari, part of the G-23 group of dissenters, too may run for the Congress president post.

Sources close to Tiwari said the former union minister is seriously considering throwing his hat in the ring but is yet to take a final call on contesting the poll.

While Gehlot and Tharoor decided on their candidature after consulting with the Gandhi family, Tiwari may pitch himself in the fray as a rebel candidate.

Gehlot said that the Congress leaders persuaded former party chief Rahul Gandhi, MP, but he had made it clear that none from the Gandhi family would contest the October 17 presidential election.

The veteran Congress leader added he would file the nomination in the coming days. Gehlot is expected to file his nomination on September 26 and Tharoor on 30th.

Nominations can be filed until September 30.


New Rajasthan CM


Meanwhile, the Congress camp is anxiously awaiting Gehlot's successor to head the Rajasthan government.

Sachin Pilot, son of former Union minister late Rajesh Pilot and ex-Congress MP Rama Pilot, is hoping to take the reins from Gehlot with the backing of the Gandhi family.

Gehlot yielded to the party high command’s direction to quit chief ministership upon contesting the presidential poll. He would be keen to make one of his close confidants the chief minister, thereby preventing his political opponent from ascending to the post.

Gehlot might come in the way of Sachin Pilot who has argued that the one enjoying the backing of most MLAs should be made the chief minister. Gehlot became the chief minister in 2018 through such a political move. If he again resorts to a similar attempt, he might succeed in making a person from his camp the next chief minister.

Gehlot said the decision to find his successor would be taken by party president Sonia Gandhi and Congress’s Rajasthan in-charge Ajay Maken.

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