There has been a lot of speculation as to why the Congress postponed its presidential election. Some have linked it to Ghulam Nabi Azad’s letter bomb, others to Sonia Gandhi’s mothers ill health and subsequent demise. But, according to sources, the decision was taken keeping the inauspicious period of pitru paksha in mind (which falls between 10 and 25 September). Though the Congress is not as overtly religious as the BJP, it does keep certain sentiments in mind. And besides, given its current round of bad luck, it clearly doesn’t want to take any chances.


Will Shashi Tharoor contest for the post of Congress president? Well, the G23 would certainly like a challenger to rise to the bait, though from all accounts the post of party president will go to anyone who is officially backed by the Gandhis. This could be Ashok Gehlot, Mallikarjun Kharge or Mukul Wasnik (apparently K.C. Venugopal has ruled himself out). Despite this the G23 is keen to see a contest, otherwise, fingers will be pointed if they give in meekly without a fight. Of the G23, while Bhupinder Singh Hooda has the maximum mass base, he seems to have made peace with the Gandhis and is waiting to see if he’s given a free hand in the Haryana polls. Manish Tiwari is another leader who is raising questions about the electoral rolls but it’s doubtful as to whether he will contest. Which leaves Tharoor, who may not enjoy a mass base or even a connect with the North, but he does have international stature, and a vocabulary to make the elections interesting—for we can then expect a battle of words between Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh on social media—for don’t forget amidst the political corridors, Jairam is also known as a poor-man’s Shashi Tharoor.


Ashutosh, better known as the journalist turned Aam Admi leader turned founder editor of Satya soon realised how his various worlds could collide. While anchoring a debate on Ghulam Nabi Azad, he was asked by veteran journalist Vinod Sharma, who was one of the panelists, whether he too had written a similar letter denouncing Arvind Kejriwal when he quit the Aam Aadmi Party. The debate ended on that jovial note with Ashutosh joining in the fun.

Advise at your peril?

The suspended Congress leader Sanjay Jha has been busy voicing his despair and suggesting solutions regarding the state of the Congress in the various columns that he writes. His solution is that Rahul Gandhi should function as a sort of trustee, while Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Sachin Pilot become the face of the party. Now we don’t know whether this finds many takers within the Congress or not, but it certainly has Sachin’s supporters a bit nervous, because we all know how such suggestions of promoting a Rahul contemporary Gen Next are received by the party high command.