Shashi Tharoor Could Run For Congress President Post: Report

Shashi Tharoor Could Run For Congress President Post: Report

Shashi Tharoor, a senior member of the Congress, is reportedly considering running for Congress president but has not made up his mind about it. They claimed he hasn’t decided yet but could make a decision shortly, news agency PTI reported.

Tharoor has published an essay for the Malayalam daily “Mathrubhumi” advocating for a “free and fair” election, however he declined to comment on whether he will throw his hat into the ring.

He stated in the piece that the party should have ideally declared elections for the dozen seats on the Congress Working Committee (CWC) that are up for grabs.

“Allowing members of the party drawn from the AICC and PCC delegates to determine who will lead the party from these key positions, would have helped legitimize the incoming set of leaders and give them a credible mandate to lead the party,” Tharoor was quoted by PTI in its report.

In 2020, Shashi Tharoor was one of the 23 leaders that wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi requesting organisational changes.

“Still, electing a fresh president is a start towards the revitalisation the Congress badly needs,” he stated.

In addition to these positive effects, Tharoor claimed that the election also had others. For instance, he noted that “we have seen the global interest in the British Conservative Party during their recent leadership race, a phenomenon we already witnessed in 2019, when a dozen candidates contested to replace Theresa May and Boris Johnson emerged as the victor.”

In the piece, he said that reenacting a similar scenario for the Congress would similarly boost the party’s national profile and attract more supporters.

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“For this reason, I hope that several candidates come forward to present themselves for consideration. Putting forward their visions for the party and the nation will surely stir public interest,” he wrote.

The party needs to be revitalised as a whole, but Mr. Tharoor argued that the job of Congress president had to be filled immediately.

Whoever occupies the office of president will surely need to accomplish the dual tasks of energising the Congress party workers and motivating voters given the current status of the party, the perception of crisis, and the national picture.

“He or she should have a plan to fix what ails the party, as well as a vision for India. After all, a political party is an instrument to serve the country, not an end in itself,” he said.

“Either way, a free and fair election process would be a healthy way to go about settling the issue. It would legitimise the mandate being offered to the incoming president,” he said.

Regarding the recent departure of party veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tharoor noted that it was just the most recent in a string of departures that had been feeding daily obituaries for the party and endless media speculation.

The effect is that the Congress employee, who has already had to deal with the disappointment of the most recent election results, runs the danger of becoming even more demoralised, he added.

“The exit of valued colleagues does not help. I personally regret these departures, because I would have wanted these friends to stay in the party and continue to fight to reform it,” he said.

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“As a signatory of the so-called ‘G-23’ letter, I should say that it reflected concerns building up over many months among party members and well-wishers who wanted a re-energised Congress. These concerns were about the party’s functioning not its ideology or values. Our only intention was to strengthen and revive the party, not to divide or weaken it,” Tharoor wrote.

Congress Presidential Election To Be Held On Oct 17

The Congress, which is currently experiencing internal strife, declared on Sunday that it will hold its presidential election on October 17 and claimed to be the only party in the nation to do so.

On October 19, the results will be made public.

The election notification will be released on September 22, and nomination filing will start on September 24 and go until September 30.

While announcing the schedule at a press conference, AICC general secretary organisation K C Venugopal said, “Anybody can contest the election. It is an open election.” The CWC meeting came amid several leaders, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, having publicly exhorted Rahul Gandhi to return as the party chief.”

On the matter, though, there is still ambiguity and tension. Rahul Gandhi, according to several party sources, is continuing to stand by his decision to decline the position of AICC president.

On Wednesday, Gehlot attempted to downplay rumours that he was the front-runner for the position of Congress president and stated that attempts will be made up until the very end to urge Rahul Gandhi to assume control of the party once more.

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Following the Congress’ second straight loss in the 2019 parliamentary elections, Rahul Gandhi resigned as party leader.

After an open uprising by a group of leaders known as the G-23 in August 2020, Sonia Gandhi, who took over the reins of the party once more as interim president, also offered to resign. However, the CWC encouraged her to stay in office.

(With Inputs From PTI)