Ashok Gehlot or Shashi Tharoor, new Congress chief would only be Rahul Gandhi’s PUPPET: BJP

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday (September 21, 2022) took a jibe at Congress and said that whosoever becomes its president, whether Ashok Gehlot or Shashi Tharoor – who are seen as the two frontrunners for the post – will only be a Rahul Gandhi’s “puppet”. 

“Any system Congress party adopts, whether (Ashok) Gehlot or (Shashi) Tharoor becomes president… They would only be puppets. The main driver would be Rahul Gandhi, who would be driving from the back,” Vadakkan said.

He also hit out at his erstwhile party over its “Bharat Jodo Yatra” and dubbed it “Corruption Jodo Yatra”, saying it started with “2G partners” of DMK.

“This Bharat Jodo Yatra should be called Corruption Jodo Yatra… It started with the blessings of 2G partners of DMK in Kanyakumari. Now it entered Kerala, and Rahul Gandhi maintains deafening silence on corrupt excise policy of AAP government in Delhi as it was copied from the excise policy of Congress-led UDF government in Kerala,” he said.

Meanwhile, the fight for the Congress presidential poll picked up on Wednesday as Gehlot and Tharoor arrived in Delhi. While Gehlot, the Rajasthan chief minister, who has already indicated that he may enter the party’s presidential election fray, met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence, Tharoor, the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, met the party’s central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry and enquired about the nomination formalities.

The election for All India Congress Committee (AICC) presidential post, if there is more than one candidate, will take place on October 17.

The developments come just a day ahead of Congress’s central election authority issuing a notification for the AICC presidential election.

Earlier in the day, the Congress’ state units in Punjab and Telangana passed a resolution backing Rahul Gandhi for the post of the party president. Around a dozen Pradesh Congress Committees have so far passed resolutions in support of Gandhi, who quit as Congress chief in 2019 after the Lok Sabha debacle.

The grand old party is likely to see a contest for the post of its chief after more than two decades. The party last saw a contest for the post in November 2000, when Jitendra Prasada had lost to Sonia Gandhi. Prior to that, Sitaram Kesri had defeated Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot in 1997.

The process of filing nominations for the election will be held from September 24 to September 30.

The date for scrutiny of the nomination papers would be October 1, while the last date for withdrawal of nominations would be October 8.

The election, if there is more than one candidate, will be held on October 17, while the counting of votes, if necessary, and the declaration of results would be on October 19.

(With agency inputs)

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