Polling is underway for the post of President of Indian National Congress, India’s grand old party.

Around 9000 PCC delegates from every Indian State are casting their votes. The voting is by secret ballot, using electronic QR Coded voters I-card, indelible ink and other safeguards meant to keep it free and fair. No other party in India’s history has done it, and no law asks political parties to do it. Cong have done it many times before though not in around last 20 years. The party has a robust internal election process already established under the Central Election Authority whose current Chairman is Madhusudan Mistry. Mainstream media is heavily invested in the election and doing minute by minute live coverage. The whole nation is watching.

It had always seemed that the party workers would simply not accept anybody else except Rahul Gandhi at the helm but he never filed nominations and is not contesting. This partly makes sense because if Mr Gandhi is going to be the Prime Ministerial candidate for 2024 then he cannot be the party President because of Cong’s strict rule of “One Person One Post”. It was following this rule that Ashok Gehlot too had to be ruled out of the contest as he preferred to remain Rajasthan’s Chief Minister after Mr. Gandhi publicly cautioned that there will be no compromise with the rule. Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge are the two final candidates contesting.

Personally, I do not support the idea of internal elections until election commission makes it mandatory for all parties.

Congress alone have been goaded into taking this righteous path because the sold-out media and a particular section of liberals who hate Gandhis have been accusing the party alone of dynastic politics lack of internal democracy and fake issues. Every party in India is dynastic while Cong have had 61 Presidents so far and only 5-6 of them are from Nehru-Gandhi family. It is extremely hypocritical to demand election in Cong to prove internal democracy when BJP has never held it, RSS never held it for their respective top posts. They are in power, they have higher responsibility to walk the right path, but they point finger at Cong.

No matter how much a free and fair election is held, BJP and its agents will never stop accusing the party of lack of democracy. Apart from BJP, several Cong leaders like Manish Tiwari, Karti Chidambaram and Mr. Tharoor had raised doubt over the election process. There were questions on who the delegates are, how to contact them etc. Such doubts will never be culled because behind the fake talk of democratization of political party there’s just hate and jealousy against one family. No matter who is elected they will keep saying it is a puppet President. Amit Malviya of BJP has already made that allegations even before the polls and poll results. Apart from BJP, Godi media, several so called liberals like Vir Sanghvi, Sagarika Ghosh, Saba Dewan, Nidhi Razdan, Barkha Dutt, Sadanand Dhume are also heavily invested in the polls and constantly demand more from INC in terms of proof that it is a free and fair election. They do not have the guts to demand transparency in PMCARES or Electoral Bonds, they do not even get to ever ask anything from Modi because he doesn’t even hold press conferences but keep asking for more transparency in Cong’s president election. I do not know who or what gives them their sense of entitlement? How is INC answerable to them?

This is an eco-system that simply hate and fear Gandhis and will never be satisfied so there was no need to even try. At times you have to take some unpopular strong decisions and not waste time and resources to please everyone.

Regarding the two candidates, a fake narrative has been manufactured that Tharoor is the brave underdog and Kharge is the weak and pathetic family loyalist. Tharoor is the preferred candidate for BJP, RSS and media which speaks a lot. The eco-system is desperately trying to prop him up and sell his candidacy the same way they sold the fake Modi iconography to the nation before 2014 general elections. Tharoor himself has made many disrespectful comments against Kharge during the campaign. His campaign was also the most visible as he seemed to have pumped in a lot of resources. Several PR events in different cities, media savvy interviews in posh English, techno-cool hashtag campaigns, posters and more. A hint of elitism has emerged which distinguishes him from Kharge who seem to have no money to do any of these and is more of a silent grassroot leader.

Personally, I do not have confidence in Mr. Tharoor.

If you’ve watched any political drama or thriller you would know that there are these super villains who have their inside man everywhere and they want to control everything. RSS is that super villain which is always steps ahead in planning, has its eyes everywhere and is conspiring to have total domination in India. Congress party is a threat to them. Congress under Rahul Gandhi is their biggest threat. And Congress under Shashi Tharoor seems to be the least.

It is my feeling that it would be the death of Cong party as we know it if Tharoor is elected as President. The party will remain, perhaps win a few elections too, but that’s not the point. The core ideology of Cong, that is liberalism and secularism will die. That’s the fear.

Tharoor lacks in everything that people admire in Mr. Gandhi. Fearless criticism of RSS, open assertion that Hindutva and Hinduism are two separate things and BJP is doing politics of spreading hate and violence, mincing no words in speaking up for the Muslims, Dalits, Women, calling out the Godi media for its biases, a clean record, no money can buy him no fear of CBI ED IT can silence him – these are RG’s strengths which are missing in Tharoor who never attacks RSS, never calls out media, is weak in calling a spade.

Tharoor’s ambition to be INC President is not new. For 8 years I’ve seen him having own parallel narrative and agenda not aligned with what Cong or RG does. (I have been part of a WhatsApp group which was openly anti-RG and positioned Tharoor as the leader of the party). I’ve never seen Tharoor supporting RG’s initiatives, never defended RG/Gandhis/Nehru from RSS-BJP’s fake news, never stood up for anything never spoke strongly, never retweeted Cong/RG Tweets as much. I have personally asked him why Cong party never defends RG against all the fake news and he said we think ignoring is the best policy. He was terribly wrong in that as we can see today how fiercely a new communication team is fighting against fake news and it is so empowering for the INC volunteers and junior leaders.

Tharoor’s only qualities are great looks and great English. He as INC President would be the “mission accomplished” for RSS. Mission being gaining control of Cong by having an easy foe who won’t ruffle too many feathers, won’t put up a real fight.

INC under Tharoor will not be able to fight the ideological battle for India’s soul.

Only Rahul Gandhi can fight that battle. It’s why BJP is constantly afraid of the ghosts of Gandhis. The grand old family have repeatedly assured they have no favourite candidate and no involvement in the party election. Still, BJP is always worried that there are invisible Gandhis all around. Amit Malviya again Tweeted yesterday expressing his fear that Tharoor will lose.

Why is it such a concern for BJP that Tharoor should win?

May the man who can put up the ideological battle against RSS win.

Cover photo: Rahul Gandhi stands in queue to cast his vote for the Congress President election. By Anshuman Sail on Twitter (@AnshumanSail) / Congress.