Mallikarjun Kharge vs. Shashi Tharoor in the Congress polls today: 10 points

Mallikarjun Kharge vs. Shashi Tharoor in the Congress polls today: 10 points
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More than 9,000 state Congressional Committee leaders are expected to vote in the election. (PTI)

New Delhi:
The Congress will have its first non-Gandhi leader in more than 20 years when Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor face off in party internal elections today. While neither Gandhi is running, Kharge is seen as the ‘approved’ candidate.

Here’s your 10-point cheat sheet on this great story:

  1. Both Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge have reiterated the Gandhi’s non-participation. But Tharoor has pointed to what he called “difference in treatment”, “bias” and an “uneven playing field”.

  2. He said that when he visited states to campaign, state heads were “not available.” But in many places, the heads of the state Congress and the Legislative Party “welcome Mallikarjun Kharge, sit with him… I’m not complaining, but don’t you see a difference in the treatment?” Tharoor had told reporters.

  3. Kharge has stated that he believes in “collective decision-making” and would accept “guidance” from the Gandhi. “You have done well for this country. Your advice will benefit the party…so I will definitely seek your advice and support. There is no shame in it,” he had said.

  4. Kharge submitted his nomination at the last moment after prodding from central leaders after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, initially seen as the favourite, dropped out of the race.

  5. Gehlot made his announcement a day before the nominations presentation ended. Her decision came after a meeting with Sonia Gandhi, following open rebellion by her MLA loyalists to prevent her arch-rival Sachin Pilot from succeeding him to the top job in Rajasthan.

  6. Gehlot initially hoped to hold the state seat along with the highest seat in the party, declaring at one point that he can “hold three seats”. But he had to drop the idea after Rahul Gandhi declared that the party would follow his “one man, one place rule”.

  7. The elections will take place three years after Gandhi resigned from the top post after the Congress’s second consecutive electoral defeat in 2019. The 52-year-old, who currently leads the party’s “Bharat Jodo” yatra, has adamantly refused. . he will return as president despite relentless pressure from a section of the leaders.

  8. Sonia Gandhi, who had stepped back from party responsibilities, was persuaded to return as its interim boss in August 2019. But Congress suffered a series of defeats in the states, prompting calls for an organizational overhaul. of various leaders, including the Group of 27 to which Shashi Tharoor belonged.

  9. The promised election has been a long time coming. Meanwhile, a number of high-level leaders were making their way to the exit. The list included Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Amarinder Singh, Sunil Jakhar, RPN Singh and Ashwani Kumar. Some of those who resigned claimed that Gandhi is the unofficial decision maker and complained that a clique around him makes the decisions.

  10. More than 9,000 state Congressional Committee leaders are expected to vote today in what would be the sixth real post-Independence election in the 137-year-old party. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were elected unopposed in every election.

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