'He is an international man, want Rahul': Shashi Tharoor gets no support from home turf for Congress polls

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who is prepping for the party presidential poll, is finding resistance from leaders of his home state as the clamour for Rahul Gandhi's return grows.

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He is an international man, want Rahul: Tharoor gets no support from home turf for Congress polls
Shashi Tharoor and Rahul Gandhi are in the race for Congress president (Photo: India Today)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has announced his intention to contest the party president poll
  • But Congress MPs and leaders from Kerala have so far shown him red flags
  • They want Rahul to return as party chief and Shashi Tharoor is finding no support on his home turf

In two days, nomination for the Congress' president election starts. But MP Shashi Tharoor, who announced his intention to contest the poll, is finding no backing from the leaders of his home state of Kerala.

Many of them want Rahul Gandhi to return as chief, and the chorus is growing louder with more state units passing resolutions demanding the Wayanad MP take over the reins of the party.

Congress’ chief whip in the Lok Sabha, K Suresh, told India Today, "Shashi Tharoor should not contest. He is an international man."

"There should be a consensus candidate. We are still requesting Rahul Gandhi to become Congress president," he added.

Many Congress leaders and workers attribute the "tremendous response" that Bharat Jodo Yatra is getting to Rahul Gandhi.

Another MP, Benny Behanan, said Tharoor would follow the decision of the party high command.

"I don't think Shashi Tharoor will contest, and he will follow the decision of the party high command," he said.

According to Congress sources, efforts are on to ensure that there should be a ‘consensus’ candidate. But with Tharoor meeting Sonia Gandhi and expressing his desire to compete, the race has become an interesting contest.

Sources say there are four options-- either Rahul Gandhi gets elected unanimously. Second, no one files a nomination, and the matter goes to CWC. Third, a consensus candidate emerges and there’s no contest. Fourth, a contest happens (Ashok Gehlot and Shashi Tharoor have announced their intentions to contest) and a new president is elected by way of poll.

CONGRESS PRESIDENT ELECTION

Nominations can be filed from September 24 to September 30. The date of scrutiny of the nomination papers is October 1, while October 8 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations.

If there is more than one candidate, then the election for the post of Congress chief will be on October 17, and on October 19, votes will be counted and results will be declared.

READ | No official candidate for party chief, polls to be neutral: Sonia Gandhi tells Shashi Tharoor

READ | King Cong kaun? Party prez polls could see Rahul Gandhi vs Shashi Tharoor contest

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