Possible possibilities for the Congress include Nath, Wasnik, Kharge, and Digvijaya

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Possible possibilities for the Congress include Nath, Wasnik, Kharge, and Digvijaya

Senior Congress officials have considered other candidates for the party’s impending presidential election as the instability in Rajasthan has cast a shadow over the election with only four days remaining for the nomination process. They are now in Kerala as part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. The names of a few senior leaders were reportedly considered in case Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot decides not to run, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

The party’s top leadership has been working overtime to defuse the issue that could derail Congress’s presidential election. According to a senior politician, dignitary figures like Digvijaya Singh, Mallikarjun Kharge, Mukul Wasnik, and Kamal Nath could run for the position of Congress president.

Nath said he has no interest in the position when he met with Sonia Gandhi, the head of the Congress, on Monday.

The central leadership of the party is probably going to support Shashi Tharoor, the other contender.

Some members of the party feel Gehlot should not be considered for the Congress presidential election and that other candidates should be looked at instead. According to certain other leaders, the election might be held following a resolution of the Rajasthan issue.

“South India is represented well in the party hierarchy. Rahul Gandhi is an MP [member of Parliament] from Wayanad [Kerala]… KC Venugopal [from Kerala] is the general secretary organisation and Kharge [from Karnataka] is the Leader of Opposition [in Rajya Sabha],” said the second leader, seeking anonymity.

Gehlot first sounded eager to balance both duties, but he later appeared ready to step down as chief minister after former president Rahul Gandhi reaffirmed the Congress will uphold the one person, one job principle. Pilot was largely believed to be the leadership’s candidate to take his place.

When central observers Ajay Maken and Mallikaarjun Kharge arrived in Jaipur on Sunday to hold a Congress legislature party (CLP) meeting, the 92 MPs congregated at the bungalow of minister Shanti Dhariwal, a Gehlot supporter who also aspires to be chief minister.

The CLP meeting was called off as the legislators left the chief minister’s residence and drove to the speaker, CP Joshi, where they turned up a letter of resignation in unison.

Maken stated on Monday that the opposition parliamentarians want to choose the chief minister after the Congress presidential election, and Gehlot’s successor should come from among those lawmakers who supported the government in Pilot’s uprising in 2020.

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