If you want change in Congress, vote for me: Tharoor
To woo voters in his favor for the upcoming Congress presidential election, party MP Shashi Tharoor said that he stands for the change that ordinary party workers want, while Mallikarjun Kharge represents the status quo. He said there's no "ideological problem" between both of them, and that he wanted to strengthen the party. If satisfied with the party's working, vote for Kharge, Tharoor added.
- The grand old party is set to hold its presidential election on October 17 and witness a non-Gandhi leader at its helm.
- Considered favorite earlier, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot pulled out of the contest following a political crisis within the state, while Digvijaya Singh withdrew his nomination to make way for Kharge, his "senior".
- The competition now stands between Tharoor and Kharge.
Tharoor said he wanted to be a voice of change within the party, and that ordinary party workers asked him to contest for the party president's post. He said the internal democracy that the Congress was showcasing isn't found in any other party. He said he will send his manifesto about internal changes needed to 9,000 party delegates to seek their support.
Leaders of Kerala Congress are in a fix over whom to support as Tharoor hails from the state. Leader of Opposition (LoP) in state Assembly, VD Satheesan pledged their support to Kharge while some young leaders like Lok Sabha MP Hibi Eden are rallying behind Tharoor. Satheesan said that leaders and state party workers were supporting Kharge to witness a Dalit chief of Congress.
Former union ministers Mohsina Kidwai, Saifuddin Soz, three MPs and G23 leader Sandeep Dikshit among others have supported Tharoor and signed his nomination forms. Although Tharoor tweeted six nomination forms, he could only submit five and missed the last form by a few minutes. It is unknown if all his forms were accepted after the application of KN Tripathi was rejected on Saturday.
Kharge submitted his resignation as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Rajya Sabha on Saturday, reported India Today. This is in line with the party's Udaipur declaration of one person, one post. It is speculated that P Chidambaram or Digvijaya Singh could succeed Kharge as LoP. Congress election committee chairperson Madhusudan Mistry said of the total of 20 forms received, 14 were from Kharge.
Meanwhile signaling that he would continue as the CM, Gehlot asked people to send suggestions for the next budget. His fate as the CM is uncertain after his apology to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi for the political rebellion in the state following plans of his nomination. He had said that the party chief was to decide if he would stay the CM.