NEW DELHI: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot
on Friday confirmed that he will be running for the topmost post of the party in Congress‘ presidential elections scheduled in October.
“It’s decided that I’ll contest for the post of Congress president. I’ll fix the date soon to file the nomination. It’s a need for the Opposition to be strong, looking at the current position of the country”, he told news agency ANI.
Gehlot further added that he has requested Congress MP Rahul Gandhi
to accept proposal of everyone who wants to fight for party’s presidential post.
He also made it clear that no one from the Gandhi family should become the next Congress chief.
The senior Congress leader is set for an electoral faceoff against Shashi Tharoor in the upcoming polls, which are being held after over two decades.
Several senior leaders’ names such as former Union minister Manish Tewari, former Madhya Pradesh chief ministers Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, Mukul Wasnik and Prithviraj Chavan, were doing the rounds as possible contenders, but many of them privately ruled out running for the top post.
These polls would certainly be historic as the new president would replace Sonia Gandhi, the longest-serving party president who has been at the helm since 1998, barring the two years between 2017 and 2019 when Rahul Gandhi took over.
Notably, Gehlot’s statement also comes a day after Congress put out its schedule for the upcoming presidential elections.
According to the notification, the process for filing nominations for the election will be held from September 24 to 30.
Rahul Gandhi is not likely to run for the presidential polls. He described the post of Congress president as an “ideological post” on Thursday and said the position “represents a set of ideas and belief system and vision of India”. (With inputs from agencies)