After Vallabh’s taunt at Tharoor, Cong asks spokespersons to refrain from commenting on candidates | India News

NEW DELHI: With the nomination for the Congress president election due in a day, the party has asked its spokespersons to refrain from making “unnecessary comments” on the probable candidates.
This comes a day after Congress leader Gourav Vallabh taunted Shashi Tharoor over his probable AICC president poll bid. In the first indicator of leaders taking sides in the upcoming contest for the top post, Vallabh voiced support for Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who many believe has the backing of the current leadership.
In a message to all spokespersons and office bearers of the communication department, AICC general secretary in-charge (Communications) Jairam Ramesh said: “I would strongly urge all spokespersons and office bearers of the Communications Department of the AICC to refrain from making any comment of any kind on any colleague of ours contesting the elections for the post of Congress president.”
“We all have our individual preferences but our job is to only highlight that the Congress is the only political party to have a democratic and transparent system in place for election to the post of its president,” he said.
‘No comparison between top two candidates’
Vallabh is also a party spokesperson but he asserted his comments were as a Congress worker and not spokesperson.
“Like crores of workers, my first wish is that Rahul Gandhi should provide his leadership to the Congress and the country. But if Rahul remains steadfast on his decision (of not taking up the Congress chief post) and one has to choose between the two names that are appearing in public discussion, then there is no comparison between the two,” Vallabh had said in a series of tweets in Hindi.
On the one hand, there is Gehlot who has the experience of being a Union minister, three times chief minister, five times MP, five times MLA, and who has defeated Narendra Modi-Amit Shah in a direct contest and who has had 45 years of “spotless” political life, he said.
“On the other hand there is Shashi Tharoor who has made only one major contribution to the party in the last eight years — sent letters to Congress President Sonia Gandhi ji when she was hospitalised, this act caused pain to crores of party workers like me. The choice is very simple and clear,” he had said.
Vallabh’s remarks were a reference to the letter sent by a group of 23 leaders, including Tharoor, to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking large scale reforms in the party.
Tharoor’s reply
In a late night tweet, Tharoor posted former US president Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech known as “The Man in the Arena”.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat,” Roosevelt had said in the speech posted by Tharoor.
Many saw the post by Tharoor as his response to Vallabh and other critics.
No Gandhi in frey
After over two decades, the Congress is set to see a contest for the post of party chief. Gehlot and Tharoor are being seen as the likely contenders.
Earlier in the day, Gehlot confirmed his candidature for the upcoming Congress president election and said that Rahul Gandhi has made it clear that “no member of the Gandhi family” would become the next party chief.
The election, if needed, will be held on October 17 and the result will be declared on October 19.
(With inputs from agencies)


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