NEW DELHI: Even as Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot
and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor
may be bracing to contest the Congress presidential election, it is likely that party leader Rahul Gandhi
won’t be part of the race.
Rahul, who is leading Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kerala, is expected to visit New Delhi on September 23 to meet his mother and party interim president Sonia Gandhi. September 23 is the rest day for the padyatra.
Rahul will return to Kerala the same night to resume the march next morning on September 24, the party said.
The nomination process for the Congress presidential election will begin on September 24 and go on till September 30, which means that Rahul will not be in the national capital to file his papers.
Congress spokesperson and in charge of communications Jairam Ramesh has confirmed that there is no plan for Rahul to visit Delhi during those dates.
“Bharat Jodo Yatra will resume on 24th (September) morning. And, nomination cannot be filed via Zoom (app). Nomination has to be filed in Delhi face-to-face. There is no plan for Mr Gandhi to go to Delhi between 24th and the 1st. So, I have answered your question as honestly as I can on the basis of information that I have as of now,” Ramesh said.
According to the yatra itinerary, Rahul has a packed schedule on the dates the nomination process will take place.
Moreover, the nominations have to be filed in Delhi and in person. They cannot be filed online.
Speaking to reporters, Ramesh said that every seventh day is a rest day for the yatris, adding that if Rahul does go to Delhi, it will be on one of these rest days. Most likely it will be September 23.
“ … he (Rahul) will probably be sleeping in the container in Chalakudy (Kerala) tomorrow night. Now if he goes on 23rd (September) morning, it will be to see his mother. It will not be to file his nomination papers. He will come back on 23rd (September) night,” Ramesh said.
The Rajya Sabha member added that it is expected of Rahul to visit his mother in Delhi since she recently came back from abroad after her medical treatment.