• Monday, October 03, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Nobody from Gandhi family will contest Congress president poll, senior leader Digvijaya Singh confirms

Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi (C), Rahul Gandhi (R) and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. (Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

India’s opposition Indian National Congress, which has been going through one of its worst phases, is back in the headlines over the election of its new president. The party has been accused of dynasticism by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since it has been controlled by the Gandhi family for a long time.

However, the grand-old party of 136 years may now nullify that accusation by choosing a non-Gandhi chief which became clear on Thursday (22) when senior leader Digvijaya Singh confirmed that no one from the Gandhi family will contest the party’s upcoming presidential election.

Congress leader Digvijaya Sing
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh (ANI Photo)

Sonia Gandhi, 75, is the current interim president of the Congress while his son Rahul Gandhi, a former president, has refused to contest the poll. His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is the other member of the family who is another top official of the party.

Singh, a member of Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of the Indian parliament, said in an exclusive interview with India’s ABP News on Thursday, “I will do whatever the Congress president orders me to do. I don’t intend to yet.”

He said the Gandhi family had to face all sorts of attacks pertaining to dynastic politics. He asserted that the ruling BJP of prime minister Narendra Modi has targeted Sonia.

However, Singh said that the era of the Gandhi family will never end in the Congress party. “The Gandhi family has made many sacrifices. The padayatra that Rahul Gandhi is taking out even today, can Amit Shah or Nadda dare to take it out?” he asked.

Rahul is currently undertaking a mega march from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu in south India to Kashmir in a bid to mobilise support for the Congress under the name of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (Unite India March).

Singh has not ruled himself out of the race for the president besides other senior leaders such as Manish Tewari and Kamal Nath. Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and senior parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor are also expected to be in the race.

According to Singh, whoever becomes the president of the Congress will challenge Modi in the 2024 national polls.

The notification for the election of the Congress president’s post was issued on Thursday and the process of filing nominations will take place between September 24 and 30.

The election will be held on October 17 and the results will be announced two days later.

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