When Jitendra Prasada challenged Sonia Gandhi for the post of President of Congress

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The Prime Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, put an end to the tension and today confirmed that he will run for the post of Congress President.

Gehlot is likely to face Congressman Shashi Tharoor in the upcoming presidential polls.

From The Singapore Timeformer Union minister Manish Tewari and former chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh are also trying their luck.

In addition, Gehlot has confirmed that no Gandhi member is competing for the post of head of congress.

Rajasthan’s chief minister, who was in Kerala to join the Bharat Jodo Yatra, said Rahul told him he wants a non-Gandhi at the helm.

“I have asked him several times to accept everyone’s wish that he return as president of Congress. He told me he had decided that none of the Gandhi family would be the next chief,” Gehlot was quoted as saying. PTI.

With the Gandhis out of the fray, the presidential election has paved the way for a chief who is no longer part of the family after 24 years.

The last time Congress held a proper election to elect its leader was in 2000 when the late Jitendra Prasada challenged Sonia Gandhi.

What had happened in the 2000 elections? How many non-Gandhis held the Congressional post after independence?

Let’s see:

Sonia Gandhi vs Jitendra Prasada

The election was a foregone conclusion.

Anti-Sonia sentiment grew among senior congressional leaders, including Sharad Pawar, PA Sangma and Tariq Anwar, who rose up against her in 1999.

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They believed she could not be a potential prime minister because of her inexperience and Italian heritage India today. The leaders were expelled from the party.

After their absence, Rajesh Pilot and Prasada continue the rebellion to seize control of Sonia Gandhi’s party. Shortly after they started their campaign against her, Pilot died in a car accident in June 2000, leaving Jitendra Prasada alone to continue the fight.

Prasada, who submitted his nomination for the post of president of Congress on October 29, has been met with constant resistance from supporters of Sonia Gandhi.

His effigy was set on fire every afternoon outside AICC headquarters at 24 Akbar Road by Sonia’s loyalists. India today.

Senior congressional leaders did not want to be associated with the man who had challenged Gandhi.

Then Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha members Begum Noor Bano and Sujan Singh Bundela and (former) Rajya Sabha MP Gufran Zaidi were the only ones who were not afraid to ‘openly identify with him’ India today.

Jitendra Prasada had challenged Sonia Gandhi for the main post of Congress in 2000. Image Credit: Twitter/@SaurabhRaii_

Prasada, then MP from Shahjehanpur, was given some relief after (now former) Chairman of the Central Election Authority Ram Niwas Mirdha announced that the elections would be by secret ballot.

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Following this, his campaign picked up steam when his supporters were assured they would not be harassed by Congressional head Sonia Gandhi’s loyalists.

The attack on the ‘coterie’

From India todayJitendra Prasada’s plan was to target the ‘much hated’ coterie around Gandhi.

Coterie was referring to a small group of people who allegedly influenced Sonia. The first clique included Vincent George and Arjun Singh while the other had leaders such as Oscar Fernandes, Madhavrao Scindia and Ambika Soni, India today reported.

“Coteries are a cancerous tumor that affects the vital functions of all political parties – we need to save Congress from them,” Prasada said. TSTIME.

Second, Prasada steered clear of a direct attack on Sonia Gandhi.

Strikingly, none of Prasada’s supporters doubted Sonia’s inevitable victory. But with the election, their aim was to portray her as a “party leader” India today.

While the poll strategy on Sonia’s part was to present her as a “liberal democratic leader”.

The result

Sonia Gandhi easily defeated Jitendra Prasada by 7,448 votes to his paltry 94.

When later commenting on the results, Prasada had said: India today“After giving me an innings defeat, my sight may be able to reassure her (Sonia). The match was made behind my back, but I don’t claim I would have won if she had played it fair.”

Non-Gandhi Presidents of Congress

The last non-Gandhi congress president was Sitaram Kesri who served from 1996-98. He was sacked from the top post after the big old party’s electoral defeat in 1998.

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Sonia Gandhi, who succeeded Kesri, has been at the helm since 1998 to make way for her son Rahul, who served as the president of Congress from 2017-2019.

A list of other non-Gandhi Congress presidents after independence:

A Losing Battle When Jitendra Prasada Challenged Sonia Gandhi for the Post of Congress President

Congress has had several non-Gandhi presidents before 1998. Image: Pranay Bhardwaj

Pattabhi Sitaramayya served as head of Congress from 1948-49.

Purushottam Das Tandon had a brief tenure as president of Congress in 1950. He was soon resigned from the position after disagreements with Jawaharlal Nehru.

UN Dhebar held the chief post of Congress for four years from 1955-59.

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was appointed to the highest congressional post from 1960-63. He was also the sixth president of India.

Known as the ‘Kingmaker’, K Kamaraj was the president of Congress from 1964-67.

Siddavanahalli NijalingappaKarnataka’s first prime minister, was the last president of the undivided Congress party. His tenure lasted from 1968-69.

Jagjivan RamMorarji Desai’s Deputy Prime Minister, served as Congress President from 1970-71.

Shankar Dayal Sharma was the head of Congress from 1972-74.

Devacanta Baruaknown for his remark ‘India is Indira, Indira is India’, was the head of Congress from 1975-77.

PV Narasimha Raothe ninth prime minister of India, was chairman of the great old party from 1992-96.

With input from agencies

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