The Congress party, touted as the main opposition party in India, will be electing its next president on October 17, 2022. Whoever gets elected to the post, will be succeeding Sonia Gandhi, the 75-year-old who is sitting at the helm since taking over from son Rahul Gandhi in 2019. 

The Gandhi family has always been a de-facto choice for Congress while electing a president. However, amidst strong allegations of being a family-controlled party by the BJP, and with growing resistance from its own members, no one from the Gandhi family will be in the presidential race this time. 

Also read: Congress president elections: Manish Tiwari, Kamal Nath join race alongside Shashi Tharoor, Ashok Gehlot

With less than one month to go for the elections, who are in the race to be Congress’s next president? Let’s take a look.

Shashi Tharoor 

Shashi Tharoor has announced that he will be contesting to become the next Congress president. Tharoor is a three-time MP from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala and has been serving in the post since 2009. He also served as the Under Secretary General of the UN from June 1, 2002, to April 1, 2007. 

Ashok Gehlot

Ashok Gehlot, like Tharoor, has been declared a contestant for the post of the next Congress president. Coming from a minority OBC caste in the state of Rajasthan, Gehlot has gone on to become the Chief Minister of the state from December 17, 2018. He is currently in his third stint as the CM of Rajasthan. 

Digvijay Singh

Digvijay Singh is a senior Congress leader who has served as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for two successive terms from 1993 to 2003. He has said in an interview with NDTV that he might contest for Congress’s top post. However, the Congress party has not confirmed the news of his candidature. 

Also read: Congress president polls: List of Congress presidents since Independence

Manish Tewari

Manish Tewari was elected Member of Parliament for the first time in 2009 and became the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the UPA II government. Currently, he continues to serve as the MP from the Anantpur Shahib constituency in Punjab. Sources are saying that he might also be in the fray for the post of Congress president, but no confirmation has been made yet. 

Kamal Nath

Kamal Nath is a senior Congress leader who became an MP from the Chhindwara constituency for the first time in 1980 and served till 1996. After a two-year hiatus, he was re-elected in 1998 and continued in the post till 2018. He became the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh in 2018 and served for 15 months. He is also yet to be confirmed as a candidate for the president’s post.