The front-runner for the Congress leadership, Mallikarjun Kharge, stated on Thursday that he would seek the “advice” and “suggestions” of the Nehru-Gandhi family rather than consulting them on every decision, noting that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have prior experience leading the party.
He claimed that soliciting their advice was nothing to be ashamed of because he valued a team effort over an individualized way of doing things.
Sonia is a “vital role” in the Congress, according to Kharge, and the party cannot function without the direction and counsel of the Gandhis, he claimed in an interview with The Indian Express while running for office on October 17. He said he would be governed by the spirit of compromise, but he was unsure about whether his presidency would result in elections to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) after 25 years. He stated that the organizational improvements outlined at the chintan shivir in Udaipur are his top focus.
Shashi Tharoor, Kharge’s opponent, countered that there was an unfair playing field. The Tharoor campaign had already complained to the Madhusudan Mistry-led election commission about state party presidents who had openly endorsed Kharge’s candidacy and pointed out inconsistencies in the list of PCC members who make up the electoral college.
As president of the Congress, Kharge promised to take everyone into confidence and carry out decisions that had broad support. “I will accept everyone’s cooperation. Giving is one thing; refusing to give is another. I’d attempt to include everyone… that is, following the election for the Congress president. My current manifesto is that to bring about change, we must first put any stated direction into practice, he added.
When asked how a non-Gandhi presidency would function, he responded, You can’t operate without the Gandhis; you have to follow their lead. They gave up a lot for this nation. Even the positions (they have taken) Several individuals requested Mrs. (Sonia) Gandhi to head the government once she won a majority. Not her. We are here fighting for modest elections and modest posts.
Kharge said when asked if he would contact the Gandhis on every decision: It is not essential every time (time). But because of Sonia Gandhi’s extensive experience, her 20 years as the party’s president, and Rahul Gandhi’s two years, they are familiar with the citizens of every section of the nation. They have made smart decisions, as evidenced by the Food Security Act, Compulsory Education Act, NREGA, and RTI, all of which Sonia brought about. You want me to stop seeking advice from her, right? She is a significant figure in Congress. It is not just about a family, but also about adhering to a particular ideology, and that work and ideology have contributed to the nation’s peace, equality, and liberty.
When asked if he would experience pressure to declare his independence, the man responded, “The issue of declaring or not declaring does not arise. Anytime direction or suggestions are needed for the party’s effective operation or strengthening, we will accept them. Additionally, we’ll approach them.
When asked if he felt there was a level playing field, Tharoor responded, I have nothing against (Madhusudan) Mistry, during a press conference at the Delhi Congress headquarters. We are all aware that the system has some flaws. After all, it has been 22 years since there have been elections. On September 10 we received a list of PCC representatives and last Wednesday we received another list. The initial list lacked phone numbers… Then we received the phone numbers, but the two lists were different. Such voids existed. I don’t mind that it’s being done on purpose. Elections were not held for several years, which is the problem, therefore mistakes crept in.
It is evident that there are certain shortcomings in the system, he said, adding that although Mistry and his staff were working to deliver a fair and free election.
In the meantime, the election authority released another instruction. General secretaries, state in-charges, secretaries, and joint secretaries of the AICC were instructed not to vote in their allocated states. Mistry wrote in the letter, You are requested to cast your vote either at your home state or at the AICC office, as per your option.