Rahul Gandhi not likely to contest Congress president polls

He was in the Alappuzha district of Kerala with Rahul Gandhi. This was the first time he has left the Yatra since it began on September 7 from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. The yatra entered its 13th day today.
Rahul gandhi
Rahul gandhiPTI

NEW DELHI: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to contest the party's presidential elections, said sources on Tuesday.

Congress sources said Rahul Gandhi will not return to Delhi leaving the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra. Presently, the yatra is in Kerala and will enter Karnataka on September 29.

The last date for filing a nomination is September 30.

Earlier today, Congress leader KC Venugopal, who is participating in the Kerala leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, arrived in the national capital upon the call by the party's interim president Sonia Gandhi.

According to sources close to Venugopal, he was asked by Sonia Gandhi to come over to Delhi for a meeting which is "strictly part of organisational matters".

He was in the Alappuzha district of Kerala with Rahul Gandhi. This was the first time he has left the Yatra since it began on September 7 from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. The yatra entered its 13th day today.

This comes a day after Congress leader and Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor on Monday received the nod from Sonia Gandhi to contest in the upcoming poll for the party president's post, sources said.

Tharoor received interim-party president Sonia Gandhi's go-ahead after he met her here. According to sources, Tharoor, during the meeting, expressed his wish to contest the elections scheduled to be held on October 17 to "make internal democracy" in the party stronger. Sonia Gandhi, in response, giving her nod to the Thiruvananthapuram MP, said that anybody can contest elections. Ashok Gehlot, who is considered to be close to the Gandhi family, and Shashi Tharoor, also got the nod for the Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and have emerged as top probable contenders for the office of the party chief in case Rahul Gandhi decides not to enter the fray. Amid speculation that Ashok Gehlot could be running for the party president, the election for which is set to take place next month, sources close to the Rajasthan Chief Minister said that he is "trying to persuade Rahul Gandhi" to contest rather than his own nomination.

This comes amid the buzz of Gehlot being a leading choice for the party's president post in the election scheduled to be held on October 17,

the result of which will be declared on October 19. Meanwhile, various state units including Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir among others have already passed a resolution urging Rahul Gandhi to become the president of the party.

The election for the Congress president is set to be held on October 17, the result of which will be declared two days after the polling on October 19.

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