'Nehru-Gandhi family will remain our leader’: Digvijaya Singh on Congress chief poll
Digvijaya Singh said he was in New Delhi to file the nomination form and after that, he will return to join the Congress's ongoing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’
Digvijaya Singh, who entered the fray for the Congress president's election, said on Thursday the Nehru-Gandhi family will remain “our leader”. While Singh said he would file his nomination on Friday, it remained unclear whether he or someone else would have the backing of Sonia Gandhi as her successor, with reports saying a Dalit candidate could emerge as a dark horse for the top party post.
“The Nehru-Gandhi family will remain our leader. Whoever becomes the party president will work under their leadership...Our priority is to see how the situation in the country improves. We won't let the country divide or the constitution weaken,” news agency ANI quoted Singh as saying.
The senior leader said he was in New Delhi to file the nomination form and after that, he will return to join the Congress's ongoing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. “Every a PCC delegate has the right to contest the president's elections. I have not discussed my nomination with the Nehru-Gandhi family. I met many senior leaders, including AK Antony and Mallikarjun Kharge ji,” Singh said.
On a day of frantic developments, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot opted out of the race and the suspense over his continuation at the helm in the state deepened with the party saying it would be decided in a day or two.
News agency PTI, citing sources, reported Kharge is being considered as a frontrunner for the post and will be meeting Gandhi on Friday morning. The names of Mukul Wasnik and Kumari Selja are also doing the rounds.
Shashi Tharoor, who will file his nomination on the last day on Friday, had a meeting with Singh and the two leaders said theirs would not be a contest of rivals but of friends and the Congress will finally win.
Hours after Gehlot met Gandhi and also took moral responsibility for what is being seen as a rebellion by MLAs loyal to him in Rajasthan, his bete noire Sachin Pilot visited the Congress president's residence late evening and held discussions.
The party also issued an advisory warning of strict disciplinary action against leaders making public statements on internal matters of the party and against other party functionaries.
After his half-an-hour meeting with Gandhi, Gehlot accompanied by AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal told reporters that he apologised to the Congress chief for the developments in Rajasthan where some MLAs loyal to him held a parallel meeting and set some conditions to the party high command.
Gehlot also announced that he will not contest the Congress presidential polls after taking moral responsibility for the political crisis in his state.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI)