#WhatTheFAQ: Elections for Congress' next President coming up. Who will replace Sonia Gandhi?

Rahul Gandhi is looking for a non-Gandhi President for the party while interim President Sonia Gandhi shows an inclination toward Ashok Gehlot
Here are the updates | (Pic: EdexLive)
Here are the updates | (Pic: EdexLive)

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) has decided to hold polls for the election of the new President of the party which is currently being led by the interim President, Sonia Gandhi. The candidates can start filing the nominations for this presidential election on September 24.

Shashi Tharoor, a senior member of the Congress, is reportedly considering running for Congress president but has not made up his mind about it. Congress has claimed he hasn't decided yet but might make a decision shortly.

Why is Congress conducting elections for its president now?
The post of the President of the party has been with the Gandhi family for more than two decades now. Various remarks of nepotism against the Congress party, charges of corruption (for example, the National Herald case) and allegations of favouritism have been made against the party. Rahul Gandhi has indicated that he is reluctant to take on the role of the president of the party while various party leaders/members have shown support for him taking the position again. Reports claim that Rahul Gandhi wants a Non-Gandhi to take this position.

Although there are signs of party leaders like Sashi Tharoor and other leaders contesting in this presidential election, this might be a selection and not an election. Sonia Gandhi wants Rajasthan’s CM Ashok Gehlot to become the party president, say reports.

Who else is going to contest this election for Congress President?
Ashok Gehlot, the three-time Chief Minister of Rajasthan, is said to be one of the presidential candidates for the party. The Chief Minister, although one of the probable candidates, has expressed his denial of taking up the position as the President of the party and has shown his support towards Rahul Gandhi's return as the president.

Manish Tiwari, the senior party leader, has raised concern over this election and requested transparency for free and fair polling. The G23 leader raised objections and said that the names of the electors who shortlist the candidates for the president's post should be made public and be made available on the AICC website to ensure transparency.

What has Shashi Tharoor mentioned in his article that appeared in a Malayalam daily?
Congress leader Sashi Tharoor, in an article he wrote for a Malayalam daily, Mathrubhumi, announced that he is exploring the possibility of running for the post of Congress President.

Tharoor stated in the article that electing a fresh president would be a start towards revalidation that the party badly needs. He has also said that this will increase the national interest in the party and motivate more voters towards Congress. The Congress leader also wrote that, “For this reason, I hope several candidates come forward to present themselves. Putting forward their visions for the party and nation will surely stir public interest.”

What is the schedule for this presidential election?
The notification date for this presidential election will be out on September 22 and the nominees can start filing their nominations from September 24 to 30. The campaigning for this election commences from October 8 to 16. The date of the poll is scheduled for October 17 and the new President of the party will be announced on October 19.

What has been the legacy of the party after Independence?
After the Independence of India, most members of the Gandhi family ascended to the post of Prime Minister. In 2004, when Congress came to power, Sonia Gandhi refused to take the seat and Dr Manmohan Singh was appointed as the Prime Minister. 

The last election with more than one candidate was held in the year 2000 when Jitendra Prasada went against Sonia Gandhi and lost with a margin of 97%. 

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