Updated: Fri, 23 Sep 2022 12:08 PM IST
RAJASTHAN Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday confirmed that no one from the Gandhi family will contest the Congress Presidential Elections, paving way for a non-Gandhi president of the grand old party after over 20 years. Gehlot said that he tried to convince Rahul Gandhi to take up the top post multiple times but he refused and said that no one from his family should take become the next party chief.
#WATCH | Kerala: "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," said Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot pic.twitter.com/yEodA4l7fW— ANI (@ANI) September 23, 2022
"I said earlier that I will request him (Rahul Gandhi) to accept this post when all the Congress Committees are passing resolutions in this regard. He made it clear that no one from the Gandhi family will become the next chief. He said he has decided this due to some reasons, a non-Gandhi family member will become the party 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," he said while adding that Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken and party interim President Sonia Gandhi will decide the further proceedings "if he becomes the party president".
However, Gehlot said the party will decide the issue of who will be the new Rajasthan Chief Minister. Earlier, Gehlot tried to make a point to carry on as Chief Minister of the state and run for party president's post as well. However, it is not clear yet whether Gehlot will first resign and contest or will be elected and then resign as Chief Minister.
Sachin Pilot is a strong contender for the Chief Ministership while hectic lobbying is going on in the state with C.P. Joshi and B.D. Kalla throwing the hat in the ring, but a final decision will be taken by the party leadership.
Earlier on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi emphasised the "one person, one post" norm and said he believes the commitment to the party's Udaipur declaration would be maintained in the election for the party's topmost post. Describing the post of Congress president as an "ideological post", Rahul Gandhi said the position "represents a set of ideas and belief system and vision of India".
"What we had decided in Udaipur. 'One person, one post' is a commitment of Congress and I expect that commitment will be maintained (on party's presidential post)," he added. The Congress had decided on a set of organisational reforms during the Udaipur Chintan Shivir held earlier this year. The declaration said that the principle of "one person, one post" should be followed.
The statement comes as a big relief for Sachin Pilot, who is pitching for the Chief Ministership of Rajasthan. Amid hectic political lobbying, there is a likely contest between Ashok Gehlot and Shashi Tharoor while Suresh Pachauri also met Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday, besides Mukul Wasnik and Pawan Bansal.
Congress' presidential elections will be held on October 17 and the election results would be declared on October 19. The nomination process for the post of Congress president will begin on September 24 and conclude on September 30.