Adding to the buzz over the possibility of his contesting Congress president polls, Shashi Tharoor on Monday endorsed a petition by a group of young party members seeking ”constructive reforms” and met AICC chief Sonia Gandhi here.
The petition shared by Tharoor on Twitter sought reforms and a pledge by AICC president candidates to implement the Udaipur Declaration in entirety, if elected. The former Union minister said it had been signed by over 650 people so far.
”I welcome this petition that is being circulated by a group of young @INCIndia members, seeking constructive reforms in the Party. It has gathered over 650 signatures so far. I am happy to endorse it & to go beyond it,” Tharoor tweeted with screenshots of the petition.
Shortly after endorsing the petition, Tharoor met party’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence. He, however, did not disclose what transpired during the meeting.
The meeting comes amid indications that Tharoor, who was among the group of 23 leaders who had written to Gandhi in 2020 demanding organisational overhaul, may contest the Congress president’s election and may file his nomination.
The petition that Tharoor endorsed said, ”We are members of the Congress party with a desire to strengthen the party to reflect the hopes and aspirations of our nation.” The petition stated some of the tenets of the Udaipur Declaration that was made on May 15, 2022, after the party’s brainstorming session.
”We appeal to each candidate in the election for the President of the All India Congress Committee to undertake a public pledge to involve party members from block committees up to the CWC and implement the Udaipur Declaration in entirety within the first 100 days of assuming office,” the petition said.
In its declaration, the Congress had announced wide-ranging organisational reforms to make the party battle ready for the next round of assembly and Lok Sabha polls, stressing on wider representation to those under 50 years of age and enforcing ‘one person, one post’ and ‘one family, one ticket’ rules with riders.
Asked about the possibility of him running for the post of the Congress president, Tharoor had told PTI earlier this month, ”I have only welcomed the fact that an election will be held. I believe that is very good for the party.” ”Of course it is gratifying that this general statement of democratic principle has immediately led to large numbers of people around the country welcoming the prospect of my contesting. But as I have made it clear, I have not declared my candidacy,” Tharoor had said.
”I hope many will contest in order to give the membership a wide choice. So far I have neither ruled myself in nor ruled myself out,” the former Union minister had asserted.
The process for filing nominations for the election will be held from September 24 to 30. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 8 and the election, if required, will be held on October 17. The results will be out on October 19.