Congress President election: Big change or no change; what can be expected?

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The Congress President Election is scheduled to be held on 17 October this year. For the first time in two decades the grand old party will conduct the democratic process of electing a party president. The elections that might see Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor contest Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot for the position of Congress President. 

While some anticipate a colossal change in the party’s functioning, as Congress is set to get a non-Gandhi president for the first time since 1998, others belive nothing will change irrespective of the election. 

Here’s a detailed understanding

Congress president poll: Important dates

Election day: 17 october

Result day: 19 October

Congress president poll: Probable contenders

Shashi Tharoor

Ashok Gehlot

Congress president poll: Possible outcomes

-The Congress will be able to evade the dynasty and nepotism criticism, especially levied at it by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This might also prove to be in their favour for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. 

-As is evident from Spokesperson Gourav Vallabh‘s tweet, Ashok Gehlot brings in validation for the grand old party to contest Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

-Ashok Gehlot, 71, has an Other Backward Class (OBC) background, is also the chief minister of Rajasthan. If chosen president, Congress hopes to gain traction in North India- including six key states where BJP and Congress are in direct contest. 

-The need to balance their scales in the northern part of India arises, as the Congress heavyweights are all in the South. Rahul Gandhi is Wayanad MP and Shashi Tharoor is Thiruvananthapuram MP. Further, Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, is from Karnataka. Not to forget the second most important person in Congress K C Venugopal is also from Kerala

-Ashok Gehlot’s elections could bring about a balance between the young and senior leaders in the party. 

-Shashi Tharoor’s elections would indicate a democratic inclusion considering most Congress leaders seem to have been unhappy with Tharoor’s participation in the G-23 leader’s letter to interim President Sonia Gandhi seeking major reform in the party structing and functioning

-The chances of Congress of winning the 2024 Lok Sabha elections could increase if the party makes a fresh start and look at newer ways of tackling the BJP

-However, some also believe that a non-Gandhi as president would only create a parallel power structure within the already frail party. Gandhi’s have held the reins of the party for the past 24 years. 

-Will the Gandhis remain a powerful influence in key decision making within the party irrespective of who is elected president remains something to look out to. 

-Whoever is elected president of Congress has only two years to bring about a strategy, a face, that can contest the Narendra Modi in the 2024 General elections.

-The recent exit of key and senior Congress leaders complaining of how the party functions has also put Congress in a tough bind as Rahul Gandhi has embarked on his Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari. 

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