Putting all speculation to rest, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday said that he will not be running for the post of Congress president. Addressing a a press conference in Jabalpur, Singh said that although he won’t be contesting, he would follow the instructions of the party high command.
The declaration comes amid an intense build-up to the Congress presidential election after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot confirmed today that he will run for the top AICC post. Gehlot further confirmed that Gandhi has also made it clear that “no member of the Gandhi family” would become the next party chief.
However, this move also means that if elected as the Congress president, Gehlot will have to resign as the state’s CM in line with the party’s ‘one-man, one post’ rule, which was underlined by Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. Speculations are rife that Gehlot’s elevation as Congress presdient is set to pave the way for Sachin Pilot to be elevated as the chief minister of the state.
Describing the Congress president as an “ideological post”, Rahul Gandhi said the position “represents a set of ideas and belief system and vision of India”. He was addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
With Singh having stepped aside, Gehlot and Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor remain the two top contenders for the post.
Earlier, on September 19, the Thiruvananthapuram MP had met Sonia Gandhi at her residence in Delhi where he expressed his wish to contest the polls to “make internal democracy” in the party stronger. Gandhi had given her nod to the decision saying that anybody can contest the elections.
On Wednesday, Tharoor had also met with the party’s Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry.
The process of filing nominations will begin on September 24 and will continue till September 30. The election is scheduled for October 17. Counting of votes will take place on October 19.