First Indian Congress presidential election in 22 years: Shashi Tharoor and Ashok Gehlot face off

Who’ll have Gandhis’ support? Some reports claim for Gehlot others say Tharoor Sonia’s permission

In the Indian National Congress’s first presidential election in 22 years, two non-Gandhi candidates, MP Shashi Tharoor and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, will face off in the ring.

There have been different reports about the consent of Gandhis for either candidate. Some reports have claimed that Ashok Gehlot could be the unofficial candidate backed by the Gandhis whereas some other reports have claimed that Shashi Tharoor has gotten “permission” from Sonia Gandhi.

According to some media reports, Tharoor met Sonia Gandhi for a discussion over the election scheduled for October 17. Reports have also claimed that Shashi Tharoor has gotten permission from Sonia Gandhi to contest the election for Congress president.

Sonia Gandhi reportedly green-lit Tharoor’s candidature, saying that the Gandhi family will remain completely neutral in the contest.

According to different reports, a large section of Congress workers still wants Rahul Gandhi to lead them. The contest will be a faceoff between Tharoor and Gehlot.

Gehlot may file his nomination in the last week of September.

Congress’s opposition parties have called the party presidential election a sham.

Tharoor has never publicly attacked the Gandhis. He was drafted into active politics by Sonia Gandhi after a distinguished career at the United Nations. Tharoor has been a member of the Lok Sabha (lower house of India’s parliament) from Kerala since 2009.