Can field contender if final candidate isn’t good: G23 | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Amid confusion over the Congress presidential candidate, dissident G23 leaders met on Thursday evening to discuss the issue. Anand Sharma of G23 later went to meet Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot. The G23 leaders said “if the final candidate is not good”, then one of them may file nomination.
Earlier, asked if he would stay on as CM, Gehlot told reporters that Sonia would decide on the issue. The remark triggered speculation that he may have offered to resign. Interestingly, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh collected a nomination form and announced that he would file the papers.
He said his move was personal and not sanctioned or nudged by the party leadership – like the other likely candidate Shashi Tharoor – triggering buzz about a third candidate emerging as the “establishment’s choice”.
A dozen MLAs from Madhya Pradesh announced they were leaving for the capital to endorse Singh’s candidature, indicating the seriousness of his intent. The list of probables includes Meira Kumar, K C Venugopal, Pawan Bansal and Ambika Soni. “The final picture will be clear only by tomorrow (Friday),” a senior Congress functionary said.
Five days after the tumultuous events in Jaipur, Gehlot met Sonia Gandhi on Thursday. He later said he had apologised for the boycott of the CLP, wherein his loyalists demanded that anyone other than Sachin Pilot, who led a rebellion in mid-2020, be made the CM.
Gehlot said, “In the last 50 years, I have worked as a loyal Congress soldier from the time of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and Soniaji – be it becoming a central minister or state unit chief, AICC general secretary or CM for the third time, I cannot forget that. The events that happened have shaken all of us. Only I know how hurt I am because a message went that I want to remain CM.”
“I have apologised to Soniaji because a simple resolution (authorising the Congress chief to nominate the CM), which is our tradition and which we always pass… a situation emerged that it could not be passed. I, as CLP leader, whatever the reasons, could not get the resolution passed,” he said.
Digvijaya’s entry in the race triggered excitement with some saying the veteran has the profile and is a bigger name than Tharoor – a factor that would be crucial if it turns out to be an “open contest” without a leader with the Congress chief’s backing.
Contradicting the party’s posture of neutrality, spokesperson Gaurav Ballabh let loose a fresh attack against Tharoor questioning his candidature. The party had earlier let it known that Ballabh’s salvo against Tharoor was not appreciated and asked spokespersons to refrain from taking sides. tnn

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