Amid speculations of his nomination for the All India Congress Committee (AICC) presidential election, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday said he was not in the race for the party chief. Addressing a press conference in Jabalpur, he said that he would not contest the Congress Presidential election, but he would follow the instruction given to him by the higher authority in the party.
There is an intense build-up to the Congress presidential election after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot confirmed his candidature on Friday. Mr Gehlot also confirmed that Rahul Gandhi has made it clear that "no member of the Gandhi family" would become the next party chief.
With this, a reshuffle in the Rajasthan cabinet is also expected since for holding the party chief's post he will have to resign as Chief Minister. Rahul Gandhi on Thursday made it clear that there will be "one person, one post" norm in the party. In such a scenario, there is a possibility that Congress leader Sachin Pilot is elevated to the Chief Minister's post.
Describing the post of Congress president as an "ideological post", Rahul Gandhi said the position "represents a set of ideas and belief system and vision of India".
With Digvijay Singh's clarification that he's not in the race, Ashok Gehlot and Shashi Tharoor remain the top contenders for the party chief's post.
Notably, a group of Congress leaders known as G-23, comprising Mr Tharoor, had written a letter to Mrs Gandhi in August 2020, seeking large-scale reforms in the party.
On September 19, Mr Tharoor met Mrs Gandhi at her Delhi residence and expressed his wish to contest the polls to "make internal democracy" in the party stronger. Mrs Gandhi approved his bid and said anybody could contest the elections. Mr Tharoor also met the party's Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry on Wednesday.
The process of filing nominations for the post of party chief will begin on Saturday and will continue till September 30. The election is scheduled for October 17 and the counting of votes will take place on October 19.