By the completion of the present day, Rahul Gandhi’s altitude as the next President of Congress in place of his mother Sonia Gandhi is supposed to be official. Today is the final day for filing nominations and the ultimate possibility for anyone in the entire party to challenge Mr Rahul Gandhi in an election for the designation. That has full expectations to happen.
Rahul Gandhi, who has been the Congress’ Vice- President from almost 5 years, filed nomination papers at the party’s 24 Akbar Road Headquarters in Delhi today’s morning in the presence of party members. According to party sources, all the procedure started after Rahul Gandhi met earlier Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee, to solicit their blessings. At the party office, Rahul Gandhi was seen hugging Congress leaders Mohsina Kidwai and Sheila Dikshit.
“Rahul Gandhi is dearest of Congress and he will lead forward the traditions of the Congress Party”, said Dr Manmohan Singh, who is even the very first proposed in one of the four sets of nomination papers that the 47-year-old leader has filed. Sonia Gandhi has first proposed in the different inclination.
Prime Congress leaders like AK Antony, P Chidambaram, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sushil Kumar Shinde are even signing the papers as proposers. So, is the party’s 6 Chief Ministers, amidst them Punjab’s Amarinder Singh, previously seen as having been attacked on Rahul Gandhi to take his mother’s place to head the party. Mr Singh even said “It is a great sign for the party and I’m sure he’ll do remarkably well. He is performing well and from the last few days, we have been following him and the way he is drawing crowds in Gujarat that is amazing”.
The Chairman of the Congress’ Central Election Authority, Mullapally Ramachandran, said that no single individual in the party has so far sought to battle against Mr Gandhi since the procedure of nominations opened on Friday. Mr Ramachandran told PTI “So far 90 nomination applications have been suggested so far and tomorrow is the concluding date for filing nominations”.
By the end of Monday, that means today if Rahul Gandhi remains the single candidate, he will only be announced Congress Chief. Sonia Gandhi has been the longest party’s President, leading it for 19 years since 1998.
The handover, for many years it is expected to be a smooth transition in a party, were the Gandhi family has rarely been attacked for leadership, become controversial after a Congress leader from Maharashtra said the internal election to elect the party Chief was “Rigged”. Shehzad Poonawalla symbolized he would have liked to battle the election, testifying that it is a pretext since Rahul Gandhi enjoys an “unfair advantage”.
He even wrote to Rahul Gandhi charging that he resign as a party’s Vice-President, enter a televised debate and “be judged on merit” rather than on his surname. Mr Poonawalla, 30, alleged on Sunday that he has an audio recording on a phone call where Manish Tiwari, the senior Congress Leader advised him to rollback his disobedience for the sake of his political career.
Shehzad Poonawalla was recommended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election rally in Gujarat, which starts voting this week in an assembly election bitterly fought between the two parties BJP and the Congress. The Prime Minister said “A few days ago in Navsari, I had said there are three polls whose results are determined. The Uttar Pradesh local polls, the Gujarat polls where I said BJP will win, and the Election President of Congress, where one family will win.”
He said the Congress tried to “muzzle” Mr Poonawalla, continuing, “Those who have no internal democracy can’t work for people. I want to tell this youngster Shehzad – you have done a brave thing but this is sadly what has always happened in the Congress”.
The Congress has rejected the criticism. “There has been criticism on whether the Congress election is democratic or not. I would say that this is such an election which is being supervised by the Election Commission of India,” said party spokesperson Sushmita Dev, insisting there is “full transparency” in the party’s internal elections, which is conducted according to rules designated by the poll panel.