NEW DELHI: Amid speculation about that Shashi Tharoor may fight the Congress presidential polls, the Thiruvananthapuram MP met interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday, barely weeks after he expressed concerns about “transparency and fairness” in the upcoming election, party leaders told Hindustan Times.
“Mrs Gandhi has made it very clear that genuine elections will be held and anyone who wants to fight the polls can stand for president,” a Congress leader said.
The leader added that Gandhi also said that there will be no official party candidate. “She said the elections will be fair and transparent,” the leader said.
Although there is no confirmation, Tharoor hasn’t ruled out the possibility of standing for the post of party president. HT reached out to the MP but didn’t get a response immediately.
The Congress previously said that elections to the post will be held between August 21 and September 20. Any Congress member willing to contest for the party president’s post will require the support of at least 10 delegates.
Tharoor’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi also comes on the heels of Congress MPs demanding transparency in the poll process. Five Congress MPs earlier wrote to Congress’s internal poll panel head Madhusudhan Mistry, demanding that the list of PCC delegates that make up the electoral college be provided to all electors and potential candidates.
In a joint letter to Mistry dated September 6, the Congress’s Lok Sabha members Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tewari, Karti Chidambaram, Pradyut Bordoloi and Abdul Khaleque said this list must be made available in order to verify who is entitled to nominate a candidate and who is entitled to vote.
“In case the CEA (Central Election Authority) has any concerns with respect to releasing the electoral rolls publicly, it must put in place a mechanism to securely share this information with all electors and potential candidates,” the letter said.
Replying to a letter of five Congress MPs, including Tharoor who expressed concerns about “transparency and fairness” in the upcoming party poll, Mistry said: “I note your concern and appreciate your intention of strengthening the party.” Mistry added that “for the first time, we are also issuing QR code-based identity cards to all the delegates across the 28 states and 9 union territories”.
“Those who want to file a nomination should check if they have a delegate identity card available with them. Only people with valid identity cards will be allowed to sign on the nomination papers,” he said.
HT reached out to Mistry regarding Tharoor’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi but did not receive a response immediately.
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