‘Electing’ next Congress president; Shashi Tharoor to join show

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, September 19: Flamboyant Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in all likelihood will throw his hat in the elector ring to elect next president of Congress.

Tharoor has seemingly got the go-ahead from the interim president of Congress Sonia Gandhi after debate around the Electoral College has subsided with the party promising to provide the data to the contestants.

Tharoor who represents the Thiruvananthpuram Lok Sabha constituency from Kerala has been a vocal voice within Congress, carving out own space around his persona.

Political observers in Kerala, who keep close tabs on Kerala politics, for long have held the views that Tharoor wins elections from Thiruvananthpuram with the benign hands of the CPI (M) even while the Bharatiya Janata Party keeps probing the chemistry on the ground of Congress and the Left party.

Tharoor’s argument for contesting the election is to help strengthen internal democracy within Congress. Since 1998, the post of Congress president has been held by Sonia Gandhi, with her son Rahul Gandhi briefly taking the charge.

Unlike other Congress MPs, Tharoor stays away from trooping in the well of the Lok Sabha, while he also doesn’t take part in sloganeering in the House.

Barring PV Narsimha Rao and Sitaram Kesri for taking over the leadership of Congress in the 1990s after the demise of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the post of president of the party has been a family affair.

Congress will be electing its next president amid growing chorus within the party for a non-Gandhi to lead the organization after Rahul Gandhi failed to stop the BJP from expanding the party footprints to command a domineering position in Parliament.

Veterans within Congress have walked out, with list only growing, which includes the likes of Captain Amarinder Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, while there is an equally long line of senior functionaries who are sulking within the outfit.

After a resounding defeat in the 2019 general elections, Rahul Gandhi had relinquished the post of the party president, leaving his mother to again helm the organization.

There is an equally growing chorus within the state units of Congress to built a plot for the re-election of Rahul Gandhi for the post of the party president.

Congress observers have widely noted that Rahul Gandhi is a reluctant politician, who lacks energy to stay put for one campaign too long, and is in the habit of leaving for undisclosed foreign locations in the midst of the party spearheading public campaign.


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