Tharoor in Congress prez race? All are welcome, says party

New Delhi: As reports of Congress Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor contemplating contesting election of the Congress president trickled in, the party said anybody who wanted to contest could do so. Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said, “I am not aware of anything like that. All dates are mentioned in the election schedule. So if anybody wants to do that (contest), the dates are there. I don’t want to say anything more about this.”  Reports said Tharoor, an MP from Thiruvananthapuram, is “exploring the possibility” of running for Congress president but has yet to take a final call on it. “He has not made up his mind, but could take a call on it soon.”

Meanwhile speaking to reporters Tharoor clarified that he has not made any announcement. He said, “People are free to speculate as they like. All I’ve written in my article is that elections are a good thing for the party. Beyond that, I have not made any announcement.” He further added, I welcome the fact that the Congress party has announced an election & is going to be conducting it openly, freely & fairly. The process is some weeks away. Let’s wait for some time & see how it evolves.”

After reports came in that the Gandhis are not keen to contest the election and they are looking for a non-Gandhi party president several names have been doing the rounds. The frontrunner seems to be Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who claims that he will work hard to ensure that Rahul Gandhi will be the party chief.   

The election to the post of Congress president will be held on October 17 and the results will be declared after counting on October 19. The election will be notified on September 22 and the date for filing the nomination would be between September 24 and 30. The last date of withdrawal of nomination would be October 8

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