Amid the ongoing countdown which has already begun for the party President’s elections, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole on Thursday asserted that democracy exists in the grand old party and if Rahul Gandhi is reluctant then Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot can become the party chief.
“This is an internal matter of the party. Rahul Gandhi doesn’t want to be the party President, this is coming to light through the media. If Ashok Gehlot becomes the party chief, there is no problem. There is democracy in Congress,” said Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole.
Taking a jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party, he alleged that BJP’s politics across the country runs on the basis of a family.
“Those who mock us on the basis of nepotism, have a family in Nagpur. BJP’s politics across the country runs on the basis of that family. Congress will stand with whoever is unanimously elected as the President of the party,” he added.
His remarks came ahead of the elections for the Congress Party President’s post scheduled to be held by September 20.
As per sources, the election for the post of President has now become a challenge for Congress with the reluctance of party leader Rahul Gandhi to contest the polls.
The Congress party has completed the internal election process till August 20. The party had announced that the election for the post of President will be held between August 21 and September 20 but despite several attempts, Rahul Gandhi has not cleared his stance till now.
According to sources, the Central Election Authority has made full preparations to complete the election process on time. The chairman of the authority is waiting for a meeting of the Congress Working Committee which will announce the election dates for the post of Chairman and then the authority will notify the same.
Sources said the process seems to remain stuck since Rahul Gandhi is not willing to contest the election for the post of Congress President, although all the efforts to convince him are still going on.
If the logjam continues, there may be an attempt to agree on one of the names of the leaders like Ashok Gehlot, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal, Kumari Shailaja, and Mukul Wasnik.
Meanwhile, Congress plans to embark on ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari on September 7 under the leadership of party leader Rahul Gandhi and the 148-day march will culminate in Kashmir. The five-month yatra is scheduled to cover a distance of 3,500 kilometres and more than 12 states. The padayatra (march) will cover a distance of 25 km every day.
The Yatra will include padayatras, rallies, and public meetings which will be attended by the senior Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The Congress suffered a debacle in the assembly polls held earlier this year and the yatra is seen as an attempt to rally the party rank and file for the upcoming electoral battles.
Meanwhile, sources said Rahul Gandhi will meet civil society people and organisations in Delhi on August 22 to listen to their issues and share their thoughts. Mr Gandhi will also discuss his Bharat Jodo Yatra and its purpose with people from civil society.
Ahead of his Bharat Jodo Yatra starting from Kanyakumari on September 7, Rahul Gandhi will work with civil society to chalk out a strategy for the 2024 general elections. Mr Gandhi is going to meet organisations and individuals working for different sections of society before his Bharat Jodo Yatra.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)