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Congress President Polls Highlights: Not against Tharoor, but Kharge better suited for the position, Kerala Congress leaders say

INC President Polls, Congress President Election: Senior party leaders and MPs, K Sudhakaran and K Muraleedharan also said they were only expressing their personal views on whom they are supporting and everyone in the party was free to decide whom they want to vote for.

Congress Polls Live: Senior Congress party leader Mallikarjun Kharge, centre, shows his documents as he files his nomination papers for Congress party president election; MP Shashi Tharoor files his nomination papers for the post of party chief, at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi. (AP, PTI photos)

Indian National Congress (INC) President Election Highlights: Senior Congress leaders in Kerala said they were not against Shashi Tharoor, who has made an aggressive bid to the party’s top post, but they were of the view that veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge was better suited for the position. Senior party leaders and MPs, K Sudhakaran and K Muraleedharan also said they were only expressing their personal views on whom they are supporting and everyone in the party was free to decide whom they want to vote for.

Tharoor, who concluded his campaign in Kerala yesterday, will visit Chennai today and meet party delegates.  The Thiruvananthapuram MP announced on Twitter that there would be a press conference at the party headquarters in Chennai at 8 pm, adding #ThinkTomorrowThinkTharoor.

Meanwhile, Tharoor claimed yesterday that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was asked by some party leaders to seek withdrawal of the Thiruvananthapuram MP’s candidature. Tharoor, who was campaigning in Kerala, told reporters that Gandhi said he will not ask the former to withdraw as a contest would benefit the grand old party. “He reminded me that he has been saying so for the past 10 years that there should be a contest for the party chief’s post.

Live Blog
22:29 (IST)06 Oct 2022
Cong presidential poll: Kharge to begin tour of states tomorrow, starting from Gujarat

Locked in a high-stakes battle with Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor for the Congress presidencyveteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge will begin his multi-state campaign tour from Gujarat on Friday. The Tharoor camp, meanwhile, has approached the party’s central election authority with multiple complaints.

Sources close to Kharge said the 80-year-old will visit at least 10 state capitals over the next five days to interact with PCC delegates — the voters in the election – and seek their support. Tharoor has already visited Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu besides his home state of Kerala as part of his campaign tour. Read more


19:14 (IST)06 Oct 2022
Want Congress to be party of young India: Shashi Tharoor

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, in the race for the top position in the party, on Thursday said he wanted to change Congress into the party of young India and that support for his presidential candidature is swelling by the day. The Thiruvananthapuram MP, on a brief campaign in Chennai, said how his party viewed Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra and the presidential poll, mattered most and not what others outside felt.

"It's what the Congress party looks at the Bharat Jodo Yatra and its presidency that matters and not the opposition criticism... It is a challenging election for the delegates because there's only one physical location to hold the election, that's PCC headquarters. I am still confident that we will see a good turnout," he said.

Speaking to reporters after paying floral tributes to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Kamaraj here, Tharoor said he was getting enormous amount of feedback from ordinary party workers, especially the youngsters. He said it was very gratifying for him that the youth who are the future and also the majority in our country, back him in the polls. Those aged 35 years and below account for 65 per cent of our population. "It is their country, this is a young India," he said. (PTI)

17:48 (IST)06 Oct 2022
Congress presidential poll: Among few veterans with Tharoor, Saifuddin Soz says he is better for post

Among the few Congress veterans to throw their weight behind Shashi Tharoor in the contest for party president, former J&K PCC chief Saifuddin Soz says he thinks Shashi Tharoor will do “better” in the post. While stressing that he has respect for Tharoor’s rival Mallikarjun Kharge, who is seen to have the Gandhi family’s blessing, Soz said: “He (Tharoor) is very well-read. He is energetic and dynamic and he has a wider world view and wider appeal as well.” 

A two-time Union minister, Soz was one of the first Congress leaders to rally behind Tharoor, and is among those backing him. However, the former Congress chief of J&K does not support the hype about the election being “historic”. “This is not the first time that a non-Gandhi would be at the helm. We have examples before us. We had P V Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Kesri earlier,” he said.  Bashaarat Masood writes

15:02 (IST)06 Oct 2022
Congress presidential poll: Son, daughter-in-law, grandkid, cousin, meet leaders voting from Haryana

The Congress may be seeking to shed the family baggage with its presidential election, but here in Haryana, its list of delegates who will vote for the poll is generous when it comes to relatives.

A total of 195 delegates will vote to choose the new Congress president, from between Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor. Officially the party stand is that people who have put in work into the party, have got new members enrolled or have been managing politicians’ work in their respective constituencies, have been picked as delegates. Unofficially, many of these delegates now see an opportunity to be considered for Assembly tickets in the 2024 polls. Varinder Bhatia writes

13:24 (IST)06 Oct 2022
Upcoming presidential polls will strengthen Congress, says Tharoor

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who is contesting the party presidential polls, today said this election would pave the way for the revival in congress and will strengthen the party. Tharoor said his main plan for the congress is the decentralisation of power so that ground workers will be able to connect to the top leaders easily. 



11:00 (IST)06 Oct 2022
Tharoor heads to Tamil Nadu; Kharge to join Bharat Jodo Yatra

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who has made an aggressive bid to the party’s top post, will be in Chennai today to meet party delegates. He announced on Twitter that there would be a press conference at the party headquarters in Chennai at 8 pm, adding #ThinkTomorrowThinkTharoor. The Thiruvananthapuram MP  had concluded his campaign in Kerala yesterday.

Meanwhile, his opponent Mallikarjun Kharge is expected to join Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra in Karnataka today. Kharge belongs to Dharwad in the state. Party's interim president Sonia Gandhi joined the Yatra today morning.

08:28 (IST)06 Oct 2022
Not against Tharoor: Kerala leaders on Congress chief poll

Senior Congress leaders in Kerala said they were not against Shashi Tharoor, who has made an aggressive bid to the party's top post, but they were of the view that veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge was better suited for the position.

Senior party leaders and MPs, K Sudhakaran and K Muraleedharan also said they were only expressing their personal views on whom they are supporting and everyone in the party was free to decide whom they want to vote for.

They were responding to statements made by Thiruvananthapuram MP Tharoor in an interview with a TV channel where he said the party leaders in Kerala appeared to be against him in connection with the Congress presidential polls. (PTI)

19:47 (IST)05 Oct 2022
Gehlot gives off business as usual vibes, but Cong workers want 'uncertainty' to end

Six days after AICC general secretary KC Venugopal said Congress president Sonia Gandhi will decide on the Rajasthan chief minister's post "in a day or two", uncertainty prevails among party workers in the state. "The state of confusion and uncertainty eventually harms the party. The assembly elections are approaching and hard work has to be done, but when there is confusion regarding the chief minister, it becomes difficult for the party workers," said Muzaffar Bharti, a Congress leader from Ajmer.

Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot through his routine functioning, visits and meetings has tried to indicate that he is going to stay as the chief minister. However, dilemma persists among Congress workers with certain factions still believing there may be a change of guard in the state. Some Congress members said the party high-command should clear the confusion prevailing in Rajasthan. (PTI)

More from India
17:07 (IST)05 Oct 2022
ICYMI | Congress presidential poll: A Kharge win may just be what party’s Karnataka unit needs

With Karnataka leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s election as president of the Congress considered a foregone conclusion, the state unit of the party is hoping for good tidings. Apart from enthusing the Congress worker base in Karnataka, party leaders feel this could provide the healing touch needed by the faction-rid state unit which is often in the news for the wrong reasons.

The development also has the potential to swing voters towards the Congress in the seven backward districts of Kalyana Karnataka (formerly Hyderabad Karnataka region) where Kharge, a nine-time MLA from Karnataka, wields significant influence for his role in adoption of Article 371J in the Constitution, which provides special status to the region. Akram M writes

15:36 (IST)05 Oct 2022
As Tharoor campaigns in home state Kerala, it’s young leaders for him vs veterans for Kharge

On the campaign tour for his presidential election bid, Shashi Tharoor Tuesday reached home state Kerala, where the climb is as uphill for the 66-year-old.

The state unit is divided on his candidature, with the bigger camp of mainly senior party leaders openly coming out in support of Mallikarjun Kharge, and a section of the youngsters batting for Tharoor, the MP from Thiruvananthapuram. Tharoor has said he wasn’t surprised by this: “I don’t expect support from big leaders in the party. A majority of my supporters are young leaders and party workers.” Shaju Philip writes

14:47 (IST)05 Oct 2022
Shashi Tharoor to visit Chennai tomorrow, likely to meet Tamil Nadu Congress cadres

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who is running for the post of party president, will visit Chennai on Thursday and meet Tamil Nadu party workers and cadres. "Looking forward to meeting you at Satyamurthy Bhavan. #ThinkTomorrowThinkTharoor," he tweeted. 

11:52 (IST)05 Oct 2022
Shashi Tharoor calls on former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who is running for the post of party president, called on former Kerala chief minister and veteran leader Oommen Chandy on Wednesday.

11:47 (IST)05 Oct 2022
Watch | 'We are both strongly committed to the core Congress ideologies,' says Shashi Tharoor

08:55 (IST)05 Oct 2022
Rahul Gandhi was asked to request me to withdraw from Cong prez poll: Tharoor

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was asked by some party leaders to seek withdrawal of Shashi Tharoor's candidature, the Thiruvananthapuram MP, who has made an aggressive bid to its top post, claimed here on Tuesday.

Tharoor, who is in Kerala as part of the poll campaign, told reporters here that Gandhi said he will not ask the former to withdraw as a contest would benefit the grand old party.

"He reminded me that he has been saying so for the past 10 years that there should be a contest for the party chief's post. He also told me that some persons have asked him to request me to withdraw my candidature. He told me he will not do so. He said I should not withdraw and that I should contest in the election," the Thiruvananthapuram MP said. (PTI)

Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor interacts with Congress Central Election Authority Chairman Madhusudan Mistry during a meeting, in New Delhi, Sept. 21, 2022. (PTI)

Shashi Tharoor’s winning idea

Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge’s claim to be the “candidate of all”, as he launched his presidential campaign on October 2, will be tested in the Congress’s internal election later this month. But for now, with AICC office-bearers and other prominent leaders — including members of the G-23, the so-called rebels — arrayed in his support, Kharge seems to be, despite his protestations to the contrary, the establishment’s candidate. For now, too, his rival, Shashi Tharoor, appears to be the lonely challenger. As it is shaping up, the contest that was so long awaited in Congress and is all too rare in political parties in this country, seems headed towards a let-down rather than a show-down.

From the Opinion Editor: An election for the Congress party

On October 1, Saturday, Madhusudan Mistry, returning officer, named Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor as the two candidates in the fray for the election of Congress president on October 19. With that, the contest for leadership of India’s main party of the Opposition has been kicked off. After nearly two and a half decades, it will have a non-Gandhi at its helm.

Or will it, really? With Kharge widely seen as the unofficial official candidate — a bevy of establishmentarian leaders and many of the G-23 rebels, too, have come out in his support — has the Gandhi family genuinely stepped aside, or back? Or will it still control the Congress, and not do so too? Those, of course, are the questions. But Tharoor’s candidature may already be stirring things up.

Mallikarjun Kharge says spoke to Tharoor on consensus name

Launching his campaign for the Congress presidency, Rajya Sabha MP and party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge Sunday said he was “the candidate of all” and disclosed that he had told his opponent and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor that it would be better if one person emerged as the consensus name for the post. Tharoor, he said, replied that there should be a fight in a democracy. “I said fine.”

Kharge’s remarks are interesting as Tharoor had quoted Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as having told him that “a democratic contest will only strengthen the party”. The party had also framed the contest as an example of vibrant inner party democracy which, it emphasised, was absent in other parties.

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First published on: 05-10-2022 at 08:51:11 am
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