Ashok Gehlot was the favorite for Congress presidency until the time he defied the high command and virtually snubbed the state incharge Ajay Maken by not allowing his MLA’S meet the former individually.
Kharge raised the decibel for party discipline and it was thought that Gehlot would be reprimanded for his defiance but Sonia buckled under the weight of Gehlot’s 90 strong MLA strength and Gehlot had to be let off to rule Rajasthan much to the chagrin of Pilot.
Meanwhile the suave, modern day, erudite, polished politician Shashi Tharoor who was a part of the famed G-23 had already thrown his hat in the ring. In comes old party warhorse a former CM of MP and a person who wears his loyalty to the Gandhis on his sleeves, Digvijay Singh.
His party supporters were in Delhi for the filing of his nomination on the 30th of September but on the D-day looking visibly upset he withdrew his nomination in favour of another veteran and Nehru Gandhi loyalist & octogenarian Mallikarjun kharge who had accompanied Maken to Rajasthan as an observer.
For the moment we have two renowned contenders, one a staunch Gandhi loyalist and a Rajya sabha MP from karnataka and the other a Lok sabha MP from Kerela who is not afraid to speak his mind and was a part of the G-23 which raised its voice against the Gandhis & their style of working but does not have the most important qualification needed to win namely the backing of the Gandhi trio.
Apparently there is a third nondescript candidate, K N Tripathi from Jharkhand, whose nomination filing went unnoticed in the ensuing drama.
Both notable contenders, if we exclude Mr Tripathi for the moment, are from the two southern states of Karnataka and Kerela but Tharoor’s chances of winning look bleak. Tharoor stands little chance as the all important Gandhi nod lies with Kharge and the farcical election is set to be a one horse race.
In fact one of the members of the G-23 Manish Tewari proposed and backed Kharge’s candidature. Even other members of the G-23- the ones who are still in the Congress- were present for Kharge’s nomination seemingly at the call of the high command.
Finally, we have an election for the presidentship of the Congress party where one member of the G-23 group has mustered the strength to contest and his final opponent after much drama and a game of musical chairs is a Gandhi crony Mallikarjun kharge.
Tharoor was candid enough to say that “it cannot be business as usual,” in the Congress but this sham election with the silent backing of the Gandhis will ensure that it will be business as usual with the new president- who one can safely say will be Mallikarjun kharge – acting as per the diktats of the high command.
At the end of this whole drama being enacted in Rajasthan and Delhi for the past few days we will finally have a non Gandhi octogenarian president after 25 years backed by the Gandhis and working on the command of the Gandhi trio or will the Congress men and women rise from the Nehru Gandhian mindset and vote from their conscience ushering in a whiff of fresh air and the much needed change which the Congress badly needs.