THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Shashi Tharoor may get a berth in the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, regardless of the fate of the election for the party president post. The decision was taken when the Thiruvananthapuram MP met AICC interim chief Sonia Gandhi earlier this week, TNIE has learnt.
“Tharoor has always ensured he maintains a warm relationship with the Gandhi family even when he was with G23. The Gandhis too appreciate his potential and are aware of the harm he is capable of inflicting if he decides to leave Congress,” said a source, adding that Gandhis believe that the CWC berth is enough to keep Tharoor in good spirits.
The Gandhi family has also managed to convince Ashok Gehlot to step down as Rajasthan CM and hand over the post to bete noire Sachin Pilot. Gehlot is likely to resign around the AICC polls as per the agreement. Apparently, pressure tactics by the 71-year-old to make loyalist and Rajasthan speaker C P Joshi the CM did not work.
“Gehlot tried his best to convince Rahul that he can handle both the posts. However, Rahul made it clear it was not possible,” said a source. “Priyanka Gandhi too was adamant that Pilot be made CM,” he said. Rahul made this clear in Kochi when he mentioned the ‘one-man, one-post’ decision taken at the Udaipur Chintan Shivir.
“There is a feeling that Pilot was sidelined in Rajasthan Congress since Gehlot became CM for the third time in 2018. Pilot cannot be sidelined anymore as the Rajasthan assembly elections are due in December 2023. Moreover, Rahul’s padayatra will be in the state for 21 days. If the imbroglio in Congress continues, it will tarnish his yatra,” said a source close to Pilot.
Another source said Gehlot, in his ‘desperation’, is trying every trick in the book to ensure Pilot does not succeed him. “There are attempts from Gehlot camp to prolong his resignation until Diwali or till the December elections. However, this is not likely to succeed as Rahul would want the issue to be resolved before the yatra reaches Rajasthan during October-November,” said the source.
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