KC Venugopal | Photo: Mathrubhumi
New Delhi: Congress leader KC Venugopal, who is participating in the Kerala leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, departed for the national capital on Tuesday upon the call by the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi.
According to sources close to Venugopal, he has been asked by Sonia Gandhi to come over to Delhi for a meeting which is “strictly part of organisational matters”.
He was in the Alappuzha district of Kerala with Rahul Gandhi. This is the first time he has left the Yatra since it began on 7 September from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. The yatra entered its 13th day today.
This comes a day after Congress leader and Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor on Monday received the nod from Sonia Gandhi to contest in the upcoming poll for the party president’s post, sources said.
Tharoor received interim-party president Sonia Gandhi’s go-ahead after he met her here.
According to sources, Tharoor, during the meeting, expressed his wish to contest the elections scheduled to be held on October 17 to “make internal democracy” in the party stronger. Gandhi, in response, giving her nod to the Thiruvananthapuram MP, said that anybody can contest elections.
“Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor gets a nod from Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to contest for the post of the party president, after he reached out to her in a meeting today, citing he can make internal democracy stronger. Sonia Gandhi, Congress interim president, replied that he (Shashi Tharoor) can contest (for the post of the party president) if he wants, anybody can contest elections,” said the sources on Monday.
Ashok Gehlot, who is considered to be close to the Gandhi family, and Shashi Tharoor, who got the nod for the Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, have emerged as top probable contenders for the office of the party chief in case Rahul Gandhi decides not to enter the fray.
Amid speculation that Ashok Gehlot could be running for the party president, the election for which is set to take place next month, sources close to the Rajasthan Chief Minister said that he is “trying to persuade Rahul Gandhi” to contest rather than his own nomination.
This comes amid the buzz of Gehlot being a leading choice for the party’s president post in the election scheduled to be held on 17 October, the result of which will be declared on October 19.