‘There is no G-23, there never was’: Shashi Tharoor amid Congress contest buzz
Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge are in the fray for the top post.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who has been engaged in a hectic campaign for the presidential elections of the grand old party, on Monday spoke about the G-23 group, which had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi about two years ago on the dire need of restructuring needed within the party. Many of those who were among the letter-writers are now backing Mallikarjun Kharge, Tharoor’s contender in the race for the post.
“First of all there is no G-23 group. There never was,” Tharoor said while speaking to news agency ANI. “As far as I can tell you, a couple of seniors wrote the letter. They invited a large number of people to support them. It so happened that Covid lockdown was on, and only 23 people were available to sign. There could have been 100 or more,” he added.
His comments come amid swipes from the rival leaders as the Congress gears up to hold its elections for the crucial post on October 17. Over the weekend, the BJP’s Amit Malviya tweeted that the leaders of the rebel group had abandoned “one of their own”.
"G-23, it seems, has abandoned Shashi Tharoor. Prominent leaders of the rebel group proposed Mallikarjun Kharge’s name for Congress President instead of Tharoor, who is one of their own. How soon before stories of Congress state offices shutting on Tharoor start doing the round?”
On Sunday, Kharge also said that there was no G-23 group. He also shared that he had Tharoor that it would be better to have a consensus candidate but the latter insisted on a contest for the “sake of democracy”.
In the Congress presidential election, Tharoor has said he has got more than 60 proposers after many of his top party colleagues - including Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari of the G-23 - accompanied Kharge for the nomination process on Friday.
(With inputs from ANI)