Cong Prez poll: Day after Vallabh’s taunt of Tharoor, party sends stern message

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NEW DELHI : AICC responsible general secretary of communications Jairam Ramesh has asked all his party officials and leaders to refrain from commenting on colleagues participating in the elections. This comes a day after spokesman Gourav Vallabh took to Twitter taunting Shashi Tharoor for his likely run for president.

As the Indian National Congress gears up for the upcoming party chairman elections to be held on October 17, two names have emerged as contenders for post-Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. This comes even though several Congressional Pradesh committees have passed a resolution to support Rahul Gandhi as party leader.

AICC General Secretary responsible for Communications Jairam Ramesh said in a message to all spokespersons and office holders of the Communications Department: “I would urge all spokespersons and office holders of the AICC Communications Department not to comment of any kind on a colleague of ours who is contesting the election for the post of President of Congress.”

“We all have our individual preferences, but our job is just to emphasize that Congress is the only political party with a democratic and transparent system for electing the post of president,” he said.

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“One who wants to fight does not have to nod from anyone except 10 PCC deputies for submitting the nomination form. The Electoral Authority ensures free and fair elections. Spokespersons must ensure that elections are considered free and fair,” said Ramesh. .

“If elections are to be held on October 17, so be it. We welcome it. Still, the focus of the entire party organization should be and indeed to make the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which has already provoked huge reactions, even more of a sound. success,” the sources quoted the congressional secretary general in his message.

Vallabh is also a party spokesperson, but he claimed his comments were as a congressman and not a spokesperson.

“Like millions of workers, my first wish is that Rahul Gandhi ji give his leadership to Congress and the country. But if Rahul Gandhi ji stands firm in his decision (not to take up the main post of Congress) and one must choose between the two names that appear in the public discussion, then there is no comparison between the two,” Vallabh had said in a series of tweets in Hindi.

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On the one hand, there is Gehlot who has the experience of being a Union Minister, three-time Prime Minister, five-time MP, five-time MLA, and who defeated Narendra Modi-Amit Shah in a direct competition and who spent 45 years of the “flawless” political life, he said.

“On the other hand, there is Shashi Tharoor sahib who has made only one major contribution to the party in the past eight years – letters sent to Congress President Sonia Gandhi ji when she was hospitalized. I. The choice is very simple and clear” he had said.

Vallabh’s comments were a reference to the letter sent to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 by a group of 23 leaders, including Tharoor, with a view to large-scale reforms in the party.

In a late night tweet, Tharoor posted former US President Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech known as “The Man in the Arena”.

“It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the perpetrator of deeds could have done them better. The credit goes to the man who is actually in the arena who is in the worst case, if he fails, at least fail while he dares much, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat,” Roosevelt had said in Tharoor’s speech.

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Many saw Tharoor’s post as his response to Vallabh and other critics, as well as a reference to his likely presidential post-run of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

After more than two decades, Congress will see a competition for the post of party chief. Gehlot and Tharoor are seen as the likely contenders.

Congress’ central electoral authority issued a notice on Thursday for the AICC presidential polls, setting the ball rolling for the election of the successor to longest-serving party chief Sonia Gandhi.

Tharoor had met Sonia Gandhi on Monday and expressed his intention to contest the upcoming AICC main polls, while the congressional president said she would remain “neutral” in the election, according to sources.

Sonia Gandhi welcomed the idea that more people would contest the polls and rejected the idea that there would be an “official candidate”.

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