Gehlot confirms Congress president poll bid, Gandhis won't run

Updated on Sep 23, 2022 10:16 AM IST

The confirmation comes a day after Congress set the ball rolling for electing its next chief by issuing notification for the poll.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot.(ANI)
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot.(ANI)
By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav

Rajasthan chief minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot on Friday confirmed that he will be running for the top party post. Speaking to reporters, Gehlot said that Rahul Gandhi has made it clear that "no one from the Gandhi family should become the next chief."

"It's decided that I'll contest (for the post of Congress President). I'll fix the date soon (to file his nomination). It's a need for the Opposition to be strong, looking at the current position of the country," Gehlot said.

"I have requested him (Congress MP Rahul Gandhi) multiple times to accept everyone's proposal of becoming the Congress President. He made it clear that no one from the Gandhi family should become the next chief," he added.

Gehlot's confirmation has added to the buzz over the Rajasthan chief minister's office, which the veteran leader may have to vacate in line with the party's Chintan Shivir reforms that called for “one party, one post”. When asked if he will resign as chief minister, the Congress leader reiterated that party chiefs don't continue as CM. He, however, shied away from an explicit “no”.

He added that Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken and Sonia Gandhi will decide the further proceedings “if I become the party chief.”

Also Read | We will not oppose if Sachin Pilot is made CM: Rajasthan minister

The confirmation comes a day after Congress set the ball rolling for electing its next chief by issuing notification for the poll. A contest for the top party post appears imminent after a gap of over two decades, with Gehlot and Shashi Tharoor looking set for an electoral face-off.

While Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi said she will not be taking any sides in the upcoming election, Rahul Gandhi reminded those willing to run for the party presidency that the post was not just organisational but also "ideological".

When asked about his advice to those contesting the poll, Gandhi said, "You are taking on a position, which is a historic position, and it is a position that defines and has defined a particular view of India. The Congress President is not just an organisational post, the Congress president is an ideological post."

"It is a belief system. So, my advice would be that whoever becomes Congress president should remember that he represents the set of Ideas, he represents a belief system and he represents a vision of India," he added.

(With ANI inputs)

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