The Gandhi family remains a foundational pillar of Congress; minus them, the party has no existence. Family is the only vehicle and tool to bind Congress. After 2014, Congress has seen many humiliating electoral defeats. Some sections of the media, civil society and Congress leaders seek change in the party’s top leadership.
Ordinary Congress workers and volunteers have still not lost faith in the Gandhi family and Rahul Gandhi in particular. They believe that only the Gandhi siblings have put in efforts in these elections and it is the party machinery which did not communicate.
Gandhi have given everything to the nation. In this country, rich people do not even go out to cast their vote, but the Gandhi family which had enough wealth to live a peaceful comfortable life anywhere in the world is still fighting for the people of India, withstanding all kinds of abuse and violence.
The Gandhi family will always remain the foundational pillar of Congress. But now there has to be some change because Congress is called the dynasty party and the narrative is set. Leaders have backed senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge for the post of Congress President. Bhupinder Hooda from Haryana and Akhilesh Prasad Singh from Bihar has emerged as proposers for Kharge.
Congress President assured her leaders that the party has no official candidate, the Gandhi family will stay neutral in this race and they welcome as many candidates as possible. Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, appealed to all delegates to vote for him. Mallikarjun Kharge’s candidature was proposed by party leaders Ashok Gehlot, Digvijaya Singh, Pramod Tiwari, PL Punia, AK Antony, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mukul Wasnik.
Mallikarjun Kharge is a senior Karnataka politician and was the Leader of the opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. He was the President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee during the 2008 Karnataka State Assembly Elections. He has won elections a record 10 consecutive times having won the Assembly elections an unprecedented 9 consecutive times (1972, 1978, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2008, 2009) and lost in the 2019 elections. Mallikarjun Kharge was the leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha during 2014–2019.
G23 leaders Anand Sharma and Manish Tewari have also backed him saying Kharge is one of the most experienced persons in the party and is a Dalit leader too. Jharkhand Congress leader KN Tripathi also filed his nomination for the party`s topmost position and said that “the decision of party leaders is respected,” adding “I belong to a farmer`s family. The country is seeing that son of a farmer who has experience of serving with the Indian Air Force, minister in state government and elected as deputy leader of Jharkhand Legislative Assembly, can also contest for the post of AICC President.”
Earlier, former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot were also a part of the race which they eventually stated to have dropped. The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister visited Kharge at his residence and changed his mind. Meanwhile, Ashok Gehlot said he is pulling out of the contest after he met with Sonia Gandhi and apologised to her for the ruckus in Rajasthan triggered by his loyalists over a possible leadership change in the state after Gehlot was set to file his nomination papers for the Congress chief polls.
Manish Tewari, senior Congress leader and part of the ‘G-23’ group of dissenters, bowed out from the contest for the President of the grand old party following speculation that he would be the second candidate from the camp after Shashi Tharoor to throw their hat in the ring. He also tweeted his decision to opt-out. The Congress President election, nomination for which ended, is certainly to be a direct contest between the ‘official’ candidate Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor, who was the first to express a desire to run for the election.