“My piece of advice to those who may contest for Congress president’s post — you are taking on a position which is historic and defines a particular view of India. It is not just an organisational post, it is an ideological post, which represents a belief system and vision of India,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday. The Wayanad MP is on the much-touted ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
“What we had decided in Udaipur is a commitment of the Congress and I expect that commitment will be maintained (on party’s presidential post),” he added.
Ahead of Gandhi’s statement to the press, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi indicating his willingness to contest the presidential election. Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor is also in the running for the post and there are talks that Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh may also throw in his hat. Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to contest.
Sonia Gandhi has said that the election for party chief will be “free and fair” and she will not endorse any name. Reports claimed that she has stressed the issue of “one person, one post”, that translates into Gehlot vacating the chief minister’s chair in Rajasthan should he be elected Congress President.
The process of filing nominations for the post of party president will begin on September 24 and will continue till September 30. The election is scheduled for October 17 and the counting of votes will take place on October 19.
“We are fighting a machine that has captured the institutional framework of this country, that has unlimited money and ability to buy, pressurise and threaten people. The outcome of that is what you have seen in Goa,” the former Congress president further said.