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Shashi Tharoor to run for Congress president post after Sonia's nod

Former Union minister Shashi Tharoor has got the go ahead from Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi to run for the post of the party president, the elections for which are scheduled to held next month, according to Zee News sources.

After the meeting, Sonia replied that he (Shashi Tharoor) can contest (for the post of the party president) if he wants, anybody can contest elections, according to sources quoted by news agency ANI.

Sonia’s go ahead to the G-23 member came hours after their meeting on Monday, soon after which Tharoor publicly backed a call for reforms in the party.

The meeting came amid indications that Tharoor may contest the Congress president's election and may file his nominations which will begin on September 25. The notification for the Congress president's election will be made on September 22.

Tharoor has been a member of the G23 and a signatory to the letter to Gandhi demanding organisational overhaul. The G23 has also been critical of the Congress leadership.

Soon after his meeting with Sonia, Tharoor endorsed on Twitter a petition by a group of young party members doubling down on calls for a revamp. The petition references the "Udaipur declaration" adopted by the Congress in May, which commits to fair polls and rules like one candidate per family and one person per post, besides a five-year cap on party posts.

On the other hand, seven state units have passed resolutions urging Rahul Gandhi to return to the helm.

However, those close to Rahul continue to insist that he is not interested in the post. “These resolutions are against his wishes, these are not planned. It is just that some people are trying to be more loyal than the king,” one leader was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.

Tharoor's name had emerged at a time when none of the Gandhis seem to be willing to take up the post. While Rahul Gandhi has reportedly still not “made up his mind”, Sonia has cited her ailing health to not continue any further. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as an alternative has not gained much traction.

This led to speculations that the G-23 grouping may field a candidate for the Congress president post. They only grew stronger when Tharoor called for free and fair elections to choose the party chief.

The conundrum has once again sparked buzz on whether the party could finally see a non-Gandhi president after 23 long years. The last non-Gandhi president was Sitaram Kesari who was unceremoniously removed from office when the leadership decided to anoint Sonia Gandhi in his place in 1999.

Source : DNA India

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