Congress Prez Poll: Tharoor Renews ‘Uneven Playing Field’ Charge

Anand Singh | Updated: 14 October, 2022 3:09 pm IST
Shashi Tharoor, who served as a diplomat in India's UN mission, has promised sweeping reforms in the party if elected.

Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor, who is pitted against party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge, has renewed his charge of an “uneven playing field”, accusing several state unit chiefs of “differential treatment” meted out to him during campaigning.

Tharoor, who has promised sweeping reforms in the Congress, made the remarks at the party’s Delhi unit office on Thursday.

Kharge, currently the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, is considered the choice of the Gandhi family. However, he has rejected the claims, saying that the Gandhis have taken a neutral stand in the election for the top party post.

“Kharge Ji is welcomed in many PCCs (Pradesh Congress Committees) and called by PCCs. And it happens only for one candidate. It didn’t happen for me. Many times I go to PCC, and on the same day, the PCC president has to go somewhere,” he told reporters in response to a question.

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This is not the first time that the Thiruvananthapuram MP has indicated bias in the Congress presidential elections. On Tuesday, Tharoor claimed that the list of delegates he received from the party was incomplete and the data was inaccurate in some cases.

He officially filed his nomination papers for the elections on September 30.

“There were incomplete contact details in the list of delegates that we received. Some lists had names but no contact numbers and some had names but no proper addresses. Hence it was difficult to reach out to them,” he had said.

Since the announcement of the elections, Congress leaders have repeatedly maintained that neither interim party president Sonia Gandhi, former chief Rahul Gandhi, nor general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra favours any of the two candidates – Tharoor and Kharge.

In a recent internal communication, Congress said that no all-India level general secretary, state in-charge, secretary or joint secretary is allowed to cast votes in their assigned state. The senior office bearers have been advised to cast their votes either in their home state or at the party headquarters in Delhi.

ALSO READ: Congress Presidential Poll: Voting To Be Done Through Secret Ballot

Elections for the Congress president are scheduled to take place on October 17. The counting of votes will take place two days later.

The Grand Old Party is holding the election for its chief after a gap of 21 years. Sonia Gandhi was the party chief for 18 years on the trot –from 2000 to 2017.

In 2017, Rahul Gandhi became the president but quit after the Congress copped a humiliating defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Since then, Sonia has been holding the post of interim Congress president.

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