NEW DELHI: Congress member of parliament Shashi Tharoor on Saturday became the first party leader to officially enter the race to become the next Congress president.
The senior leader’s representative collected the forms from Madhusudan Mistry, the party’s Central Election Authority chairman, on the first day for filing of nominations. The nominations will be accepted till September 30. Elections will take place on October 17 and the new Congress chief will be announced on October 19.
This will be the first time in 25 years that Congress will see a non-Gandhi chief after Sonia Gandhi replaced Sitaraman Kesri as party chief in 1998. The last time the party had a non-Gandhi chief was in 1997 when Sitaram Kesri defeated Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot.
On Friday, Rajasthan chief minister Gehlot made it clear that there will be no candidate from the Gandhi family this time.
Speaking to ANI Gehlot said, “I have requested him (Congress MP Rahul Gandhi) multiple times to accept everyone’s proposal of becoming the Congress President. He clarified that no one from the Gandhi family should become the next chief.”
Gehlot further said, “It’s decided that I’ll contest (for the post of Congress President). I’ll fix the date soon (to file his nomination). It’s a need for the Opposition to be strong, looking at the current position of the country.
Earlier, after meeting Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, former CM of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda said, “In our meeting today, we spoke about the party and how to strengthen it. She said that she has a neutral stand regarding the congress president election.”