Congress presidential elections: Key developments & reactions

and Shashi Tharoor will enter the fray for the top post.

, is unlikely to contest the party elections.


Sonia Gandhi will play ‘neutral role’

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is learnt to have told party leaders that internal elections are good for the organisation, and that she will play a “neutral role” in the process. The remarks have been variously interpreted, with some believing that her being “neutral” suggests that Rahul Gandhi is not ready to take back the reins of the party and may not agree to contest, and that an open contest was welcome.

The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution backing Rahul Gandhi for the post of the party president. Representatives of the Congress committee requested Gandhi to file nomination for the post of the Congress president while considering “sentiments of all”, said the resolution. Haryana Congress chief Udai Bhan said the resolution to make him the party’s national president was unanimously passed.

Anybody can contest the Congress president’s poll which will be free and fair as well as transparent, Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said on Tuesday after meeting party chief Sonia Gandhi. “Whoever wants to file a nomination, can file it. We have said it will be an open election, anybody can contest, free and fair election, definitely it will be a transparent election,” he said.

With the Pradesh Congress committees passing a resolution seeking Rahul Gandhi at the helm of AICC, party General Secretary, Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said such measures have no binding effect. Amid indication that Congress leader Shashi Tharoor will contest in the party’s presidential polls, Ramesh, also said any person could contest for the post, but he personally preferred to evolve a consensus around a candidate.

Asked if Rahul Gandhi will contest, Venugopal said only the former can decide and he “has not told us anything”. On resolutions being passed by various state units of the party seeking Rahul Gandhi’s elevation to the top post, Venugopal said there was nothing wrong in that as party workers were expressing their feelings.

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