'Will contest Congress president polls if party wants': Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who is bracing to file nomination papers, arrived at the All India Congress Committee office on Wednesday to check the delegate list ahead of the election notification.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot speaking into a mic
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot speaking into a mic
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Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Wednesday, September 21, that he will not back out if the party wants him to contest the Congress presidential poll. Gehlot, who arrived at the national capital this morning, said while interacting with the media, “I will not back out from any responsibility and will serve the party wherever and in whichever capacity I am required in this hour of crisis.” But the party wants Rahul Gandhi to take over as the party president, he added.

Hinting that he can manage both posts — of the Congress president and the Chief Minister — simultaneously, Ashok told the media that he would discharge all responsibilities given to him. He added that while he was not aspiring for any post, he wanted to work towards ousting the “fascist” (Bharatiya Janata Party) government.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also arrived at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) office on the day to check the delegate list ahead of the notifications of the Congress presidential polls, as he braces to file nomination papers. Tharoor is being seen as a potential candidate from the G-23 group to challenge the loyalist, in case of a contest. G-23 is a group of dissenting Congress leaders who demanded an organisational overhaul in the party last year, and have been vocal about their demand ever since.

Chief Minister Gehlot is likely to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and then expected to join the Bharat Jodo Yatra with Rahul Gandhi in Kerala. “Everybody wants a stronger Congress and all parties must follow a democratic process. The elections in the party are open for all Congress members,” he said. Earlier on Tuesday night, Gehlot had addressed Rajasthan party MLAs and hinted at his nomination.

Meanwhile, the Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs) of states, including Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, have passed resolutions batting for the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, who has now embarked on the Bharat Jodo Yatra, a 3,500-km footmarch from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

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