Pritviraj Chavan approves of Kharge’s seniority and track record – Reuters

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Express press service

NEW DELHI: Refuting the existence of the ginger G-23 group, senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Pritviraj Chavan said Shashi Tharoor’s decision to run for Congress speaker was one-sided and that he had not consulted the leaders before joining the race. Speaking to this newspaper, Chavan said: “After Tharoor made up his mind, he could have called us and had a chat with us. We may have explored possibilities. If Tharoor had consulted us, I don’t know whether we would have accepted it or not. What we would have done is another matter,” Chavan said.

Chavan and Tharoor are among leaders who were part of the ginger group known as G-23, which wrote to the Congress leadership demanding sweeping party reforms two years ago. As the picture in the Congressional presidential election became clearer on Friday with Lok Sabha MK Tharoor and veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge emerging as the main contenders, the most surprising decision came from the G-23 leaders, including Manish Tewari and Chavan who endorsed Kharge, who is widely seen as the official candidate.

Explaining his reasons for backing Kharge, Chavan said a group of leaders including him, at a meeting late Thursday night, decided that if the party presented a strong candidate, they would back him. “Kharge is a senior leader with a long and credible electoral record. Kharge and I have worked closely together. It is not about contesting for politics or opposing to oppose,” he said, adding that after Kharge’s candidacy was decided, the leader asked for help. by telephone.

Chavan also said that after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot pulled out of the race, leaders considered Mukul Wasnik, but he chose not to participate. “We were happy to endorse Gehlot or Wasnik, but they chose not to participate,” he said.

Responding to Tharoor’s comments that “Kharge is a continuity candidate”, Chavan said the Gandhi family is an asset to the party and he is within his rights to be part of the consultative process or committee members of work. “Rahul Gandhi is trying to mobilize the party in his own way. He was always welcome to contest the election. If he contests, then he is morally obligated to become full-time president,” he said.

When pointed out to him the arguments that Kharge is a Gandhi family loyalist and that high command dominance will prevail despite the election, Chavan said, “How can you assume that the election is in the best party interest?

Many leaders, including Tewari, have demanded a “free and fair” electoral process and have written to Congress Central Election Authority chairman Madhusutan Mistry about it. Speaking of transparency in the electoral process, Chavan said it is unfair to draw conclusions before the end of the electoral process. “Let’s not forget that the elections are held after 22 years in the ballot. There should be an appropriate selection of AICC members among the delegates. After the election of the President of the Congress, there should be the election of the Working Committee, as happened 22 years ago. Why should we say it can’t happen or it can’t be decentralized? Chavan asked.

He also expressed hope that Tharoor would not retire from the race. “Tharoor made a very important point that there is democracy in the party. Why should we even try to see that there should be a unanimous selection? Tharoor may actually get more votes than a lot of people realize,” he said. Chavan also said the G-23 was a figment of the media’s imagination and the leadership group was reviled by a section for seeking reform.

“Two years ago, when we wrote a letter, the main demand was that Congress have a full-time president and that there be an election for president. Mrs. Gandhi called us for a meeting after four months and discussed the issues to the hilt. She accepted all our requests and I thank her for that,” he said.

NEW DELHI: Refuting the existence of the ginger G-23 group, senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Pritviraj Chavan said Shashi Tharoor’s decision to run for Congress speaker was one-sided and that he had not consulted the leaders before joining the race. Speaking to this newspaper, Chavan said: “After Tharoor made up his mind, he could have called us and had a chat with us. We may have explored possibilities. If Tharoor had consulted us, I don’t know whether we would have accepted it or not. What we would have done is another matter,” Chavan said. Chavan and Tharoor are among leaders who were part of the ginger group known as G-23, which wrote to the Congress leadership demanding sweeping party reforms two years ago. As the picture in the Congressional presidential election became clearer on Friday with Lok Sabha MK Tharoor and veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge emerging as the main contenders, the most surprising decision came from the G-23 leaders, including Manish Tewari and Chavan who endorsed Kharge, who is widely seen as the official candidate. Explaining his reasons for backing Kharge, Chavan said a group of leaders including him, at a meeting late Thursday night, decided that if the party presented a strong candidate, they would back him. “Kharge is a senior leader with a long and credible electoral record. Kharge and I have worked closely together. It is not about contesting for politics or opposing to oppose,” he said, adding that after Kharge’s candidacy was decided, the leader asked for help. by telephone. Chavan also said that after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot pulled out of the race, leaders considered Mukul Wasnik, but he chose not to participate. “We were happy to endorse Gehlot or Wasnik, but they chose not to participate,” he said. Responding to Tharoor’s comments that “Kharge is a continuity candidate”, Chavan said the Gandhi family is an asset to the party and he is within his rights to be part of the consultative process or committee members of work. “Rahul Gandhi is trying to mobilize the party in his own way. He was always welcome to contest the election. If he contests, then he is morally obligated to become full-time president,” he said. When pointed out to him the arguments that Kharge is a Gandhi family loyalist and that high command dominance will prevail despite the election, Chavan said, “How can you assume that the election is in the best party interest? Many leaders, including Tewari, have demanded a “free and fair” electoral process and have written to Congress Central Election Authority chairman Madhusutan Mistry about it. Speaking of transparency in the electoral process, Chavan said it is unfair to draw conclusions before the end of the electoral process. “Let’s not forget that the elections are held after 22 years in the ballot. There should be an appropriate selection of AICC members among the delegates. After the election of the President of the Congress, there should be the election of the Working Committee, as happened 22 years ago. Why should we say it can’t happen or it can’t be decentralized? Chavan asked. He also expressed hope that Tharoor would not retire from the race. “Tharoor made a very important point that there is democracy in the party. Why should we even try to see that there should be a unanimous selection? Tharoor may actually get more votes than a lot of people realize,” he said. Chavan also said the G-23 was a figment of the media’s imagination and the leadership group was reviled by a section for seeking reform. “Two years ago, when we wrote a letter, the main demand was that Congress have a full-time president and that there be an election for president. Mrs. Gandhi called us for a meeting after four months and discussed the issues to the hilt. She accepted all our requests and I thank her for that,” he said.


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