India: Nominations for Congress president begin today

This will be the first time in 25 years that the party will see a non-Gandhi chief


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Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Published: Sat 24 Sep 2022, 1:11 PM

The filing of nominations for the post of Congress president is scheduled to begin today with a contest between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former union minister Shashi Tharoor on the cards.

The nomination procedures will take place till September 30, after which 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 Sitaram Kesri defeated Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot to become the Congress chief in 1997. The position returned to the Gandhi family in 1998, when Sonia Gandhi defeated Kesri to become the new Congress chief.

The Chairman of the Central Election Authority, Madhusudan Mistri, will visit the Congress headquarters in the national capital to collect the nomination papers (and other related documents) as the returning officer of the election.

Yesterday, 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."

"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," he added.

Earlier, after meeting Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, the 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."

Till now, Gehlot has made it publicly clear that he would contest the elections, while another name that is most likely to give him a contest is Shashi Tharoor, who is also in the fray, and had met Madhusudan Mistri.

Sources close to former union minister Manish Tewari had also hinted at the possibility of him contesting the polls.

Earlier, Madhusudan Mistri said that more than 9,000 delegates would be voting in the polls. Anybody could contest, for which 10 delegates would be needed to support his/her candidature. The last date for filing nominations is September 30.


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