Congress prepares for first non-Gandhi president after 1998

The coming week Congress leaders will be filing nomination papers for the presidential poll. It now seems that apart from Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tewari will throw his hat into the ring and some others may also join the fray.While the Gandhis are likely to be neutral in the elections, party interim president Sonia Gandhi has asserted that the polls will be fair and she will not endorse any candidate.Sources said that the issue of Rajasthan in the event of Gehlot joining national politics was also discussed, but there is no official word on it yet.This will be the first election since 1998 that a non-Gandhi will be elected as party president. After Sonia Gandhi got elected for the first time defeating Jitendra Prasada, since then she was elected unopposed and in 2017, Rahul Gandhi was elected unopposed.Gehlot said that Rahul Gandhi has refused to contest the party president’s election and wants a non-Gandhi to be the party president. Gehlot said, “I will be filing nomination soon and it’s the need of the hour that the opposition should be strong.”Gehlot will have to relinquish the post of Chief Minister if he gets elected as Rahul Gandhi has hinted that the Congress will adhere to the ‘one man one post’ formula as per the Udaipur declaration.