Days before the Congress President Elections, Shashi Tharoor met the party’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi at her Delhi residence on Monday. The Thiruvananthapuram MP however did not disclose what was discussed during the meeting or even what the agenda of the meeting was.
The meeting comes just hours after Tharoor, who is a likely frontrunner for the party president post, tweeted a copy of a petition seeking constructive reforms in the Party.
I welcome this petition that is being circulated by a group of young @INCIndia members, seeking constructive reforms in the Party. It has gathered over 650 signatures so far. I am happy to endorse it & to go beyond it. https://t.co/2yPViCDv0v pic.twitter.com/waGb2kdbTu— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 19, 2022
Tharoor has been a member of the G23 and a signatory to the letter to Gandhi demanding organisational overhaul. Him, along with the G23 leaders, have been critical of the Congress leadership.
The meeting is crucial as it took place amid indications that Tharoor may contest the Congress president’s election and may file his nominations which will begin on September 25. The notification for the Congress president’s election will be made on September 22.
The Congress MP has time and again called for a “free and fair" election and even went as far as writing a letter to the party’s central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry seeking the publication of electoral rolls for the upcoming elections.
Tharoor along with his party colleague Manish Tewari, who is also a member of the G-23 group, have raised objections to the party not making public the names of electors for the party president polls and said it must be published names on the All India Congress Committee website for a “free and fair" process. Tharoor and Tewari were both in agreement that everybody should know who can nominate and who can vote.
Taking on the Gandhi family, Tharoor had said: “Many Congress supporters have been dismayed by Rahul Gandhi’s refusal to contest and his statement that no member from the Gandhi family should replace him. It is really for the Gandhi family to decide where they collectively stand on the issue, but in a democracy, no party should put itself in the position of believing that only one family can lead it.”
When asked if he would contest the elections for Congress president, Tharoor has preferred to keep the suspense up. “I have no comment to make. I accept what I have written in my article which is that an election would be a good thing for Congress party," he had said.
(With inputs from PTI)