Congress presidential polls: Gehlot, Tewari extend support to Mallikarjun Kharge
Rajasthan's Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Rajya Sabha member Manish Tewari, both senior leaders of the Congress, have come out in support of Mallikarjun Kharge, the frontrunner for the party's upcoming presidential election. Calling Kharge (82) a "composed personality," the leaders said that he could provide stability to the grand old party which he has served for over half a century.
Why does this story matter?
- The Congress is set to hold its presidential election on Monday to choose a non-Gandhi leader at its helm.
- With other nominees pulling out, the competition now stands between Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor and Kharge.
- Tharoor is projecting himself as a 'young' face for the top post while calling for an organizational overhaul and has termed Kharge as the reinforcer of the status quo.
Party needs safe pair of hands: Tewari
Tewari voiced support for Kharge against Tharoor — his fellow member of the now defunct group G-23 that had written to the party's interim president Sonia Gandhi in 2020 to bring reforms in internal functioning. Tewari, who was also one of the proposers of Kharge while he was filing his nominations for the polls, said that the party needed a "safe pair of hands."
Gehlot has requested party delegates to vote for Kharge
मैं उम्मीद करता हूं जो भी डेलीगेट हैं वो भारी बहुमत से श्री मल्लिकार्जुन खड़गे को कामयाब करेंगे।कामयाब होने के बाद में वो हम सबका मार्गदर्शन करेंगे व कांग्रेस मजबूत होकर प्रतिपक्ष के रूप में उभर कर सामने आएगी।यह मेरी सोच है, मेरी शुभकामनाएं है खड़गे साहब भारी मतों से कामयाब हों। pic.twitter.com/OQ4Nk8zFKa— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) October 13, 2022
Would seek the guidance of Gandhis: Kharge
Meanwhile, Kharge said on Thursday that he may not consult the Gandhis on every decision, but had no qualms about seeking their "guidance" and suggestions as they have experience in leading the party and he believed in a collective approach. He, however, didn't clarify if the Congress Working Committee (CWC) would see elections after 25 years under his presidency.
Uneven playing field: Tharoor
Kharge's rival, Tharoor has earlier claimed that it was an "uneven playing field." He said that several senior party leaders and state unit chiefs met and welcomed Kharge but not him. Leaders backing Tharoor had earlier approached the party's election authority led by Madhusudan Mistry about some of the party's state unit chiefs openly endorsing Kharge in violation of the party's election guidelines.