Manish Tewari, senior leader of Congress and part of the ‘G-23’ dissident group, withdrew from the big party’s presidential race today following speculation that he would be the second candidate from the field after Shashi Tharoor to throw his hat in the ring. Speaking to NDTV, he said that he does not want to become the ‘scapegoat’.
He also tweeted his decision not to participate. Given recent “unfortunate events”, it is time to close ranks and strengthen the party, he said on Twitter, suggesting there would be no more G-23 additions to the already chaotic contest.
“Leadership, ideological clarity, narrative and transparent access to resources are pillars of the political party ‘A’
Given the recent unfortunate events, it is time to close ranks and strengthen @INCIndia by remembering the wise words of @CitiznMukherjee and working for Consensus and an effective Presidency,” he said, while sharing a quote from former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on why the The party’s top job should be offered and not sought.
Leadership, ideological clarity, storytelling and transparent access to resources are pillars of the ‘A’ political party
Given recent unfortunate events, it is time to close ranks and strengthen @INCIndia remembering wise words @CitiznMukherjee 👇🏾& work for a consensual and effective Presidency pic.twitter.com/t2pJbolDpV
—Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) September 30, 2022
The election of the president of Congress, whose nomination ends today at 3 pm, will surely be a direct contest between the ‘official’ candidate Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor, who was the first to express his desire to stand for election.
The party’s main leader, Digvijaya Singh, decided not to submit his nomination minutes after meeting with Kharge, who is said to have the blessing of the Gandhi.
Congress veteran KC Venugopal, a key aide to the Gandhis, last night conveyed to Mr Kharge the high command’s decision to join the race despite the Gandhis saying they would remain neutral, the sources said.
Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, a key member of the “G-23” splinter group that sent an explosive letter to Ms. Gandhi in 2020 about organizational changes in the party, also endorsed Mr. Kharge’s candidacy. sources said.
Kharge will step down as leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha in accordance with the “one person, one post” rule decided by the party earlier this year, the sources said.
Elections on October 17 took a chaotic turn after loyalists to Rajasthan Prime Minister Ashok Gehlot staged an open rebellion against the prospect of Sachin Pilot replacing him if the Gandhi-backed Gehlot were elected president.
Gehlot met Sonia Gandhi yesterday with a letter of apology and opted out of the contest for the party’s top job. He told reporters that he will not participate in the elections assuming “moral responsibility” for the public rebellion of his loyalists.
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