New Delhi: Congress leader Gourav Vallabh on Thursday launched a scathing attack on Shashi Tharoor over his probable AICC president poll candidature, saying his “one major contribution” to the grand old party in eight years was to send letters to Sonia Gandhi when she was hospitalised.
In an early instance of leaders taking sides in the upcoming contest for the Congress President, Vallabh voiced support for another likely contender Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Gehlot is believed to have the backing of the current leadership. However, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is said to have told both Gehlot and Tharoor that she would remain “neutral” in the polls.
Gourav Vallabh, a Congress spokesperson, asserted that his comments were as a party worker and not a spokesperson.
“Like crores of workers, my first wish is that Rahul Gandhi ji should provide his leadership to the Congress and the country. But if Rahul Gandhi ji remains steadfast on his decision (of not taking up the Congress chief post) and one has to choose between the two names that are appearing in public discussion, then there is no comparison between the two,” Vallabh wrote in a series of tweets in Hindi.
On one hand, there is Ashok Gehlot who has the experience of being a Union minister, three times chief minister, five times MP, five times MLA, and who has defeated Narendra Modi-Amit Shah in a direct contest and who has had 45 years of “spotless” political life, he added.
“On the other hand there is Shashi Tharoor sahib who has made only one major contribution to the party in the last eight years — sent letters to Congress President Sonia Gandhi ji when she was hospitalised, this act caused pain to crores of party workers like me. The choice is very simple and clear,” he stressed.
वहीं दूसरी तरफ़ श्री शशि थरूर साहब हैं,जिनका पिछले 8 वर्षों में पार्टी के लिए एक ही प्रमुख योगदान है-कांग्रेस अध्यक्षा सोनिया गाँधी जी को तब चिट्ठियाँ भेजी जब वह अस्पताल में भर्ती थीं,इस कृत्य ने मेरे जैसे पार्टी के करोड़ों कार्यकर्ताओं को पीड़ा पहुँचाई
चयन बहुत सरल और स्पष्ट है
— Prof. Gourav Vallabh (@GouravVallabh) September 22, 2022
The comment was in reference to the letter sent by a group of 23 leaders, including Shashi Tharoor, to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking large-scale reforms in the party.
In a late-night tweet, Shashi Tharoor posted former US president Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech known as “The Man in the Arena”.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena… who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat,” Roosevelt is quoted, in the image shared by Tharoor.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 22, 2022
The post could be seen as Shashi Tharoor’s response to Vallabh and other critics, as well as a reference to his probable All India Congress Committee (AICC) presidential post-run.
Will Digvijaya Singh Contest Congress President Election
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has indicated that he could throw his hat in the ring if former president Rahul Gandhi does not agree to take on the party’s reins.
Veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh is also believed to be mulling over becoming a candidate for the AICC President election.
“I will do whatever the Congress President orders me to do. I don’t intend to (contest) yet,” Digvijaya Singh told ABP News when asked about his intention to contest the poll.
Notification For Congress President Election Issued
The notification for the election of the Congress President’s post was issued on Thursday and with this, the process of choosing the person who will hold the highest office of the country’s oldest political party will formally begin.
This notification will be issued by the Central Election Authority headed by senior party leader Madhusudan Mistry.
As per the announced schedule for the election of Congress President, after the notification, the process of filing nominations will go on from September 24 to 30.
The date of scrutiny of the nomination papers would be October 1. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 8. In case of more than one candidate, voting will be held on October 17 and results will be declared on October 19.