Ashok Gehlot and Shashi Tharoor
Ashok Gehlot and Shashi TharoorIANS (File photos)

Congress presidential poll: Will contest if party wants, says Gehlot

New Delhi, September 21, 2022

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said that he would not back out if the party wanted him to contest the Congress presidential poll.

Gehlot, who arrived in the national capital this morning, was interacting with the media.

"I will not back out from any responsibility and will serve the party wherever and in whichever capacity I am required in this hour of crisis," he said.

However, he said the party wants Rahul Gandhi to take over as the party president.

Gehlot said that will discharge all the responsibilities given and hinted that he can manage the posts of both the party chief and chief minister simultaneously.

The chief minister said that he is not aspiring for any post but wants to work towards ousting the "fascist" (BJP) government.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday arrived at the AICC office to check the delegate list ahead of the notifications of the Congress presidential polls as he braces himself to file nomination papers.

Tharoor is being seen as a potential candidate from the G-23 group to challenge the loyalist in case of a contest.

Gehlot is likely to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and then expected to join the "Bharat Jodo Yatra" with Rahul Gandhi in Kerala.

"Everybody wants a stronger Congress and all parties must follow a democratic process. The elections in the party are open for all Congress members."

On Tuesday night, Gehlot addressed Rajasthan party MLAs and hinted at his nomination.

Tharoor reached the party headquarters here this morning to check the delegate list ahead of the notification of the presidential poll.

Sonia Gandhi called party general secretary K. C. Venugopal on Tuesday to Delhi and spoke at length about the issues of Rajasthan, while Gehlot was pushing for Rahul Gandhi as the party president.

Gehlot is reluctant to move to Delhi and does not want his former deputy Sachin Pilot to be elevated to the Chief Minister's chair, sources said.

After the meeting, Venugopal told journalists that it was up to Rahul Gandhi to decide about contesting the elections or not, and everything would be clear within a week.

"I had some pending work of the party so I came to meet her," Venugopal added.


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