THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: AICC general secretary in charge of the state, Mukul Wasnik, has emerged as a strong contender for the post of Congress president, party sources said.
The 59-year-old has edged out senior leaders like Sushil Kumar Shinde and Mallikarjun Kharge and youngsters Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot whose names were doing the rounds earlier.
A Kerala leader close to him said he would be the best choice to succeed Rahul Gandhi who quit owning up the responsibility for the humiliating defeat in the national elections.
“Unlike Mr Scindia and Mr Pilot, two-time MP and former Union minister reached the CWC through sheer hard work after having proved his mettle at the grassroots,” said a KPCC leader.
Son of veteran Congress leader and three-time MP Balkrishna Wasnik, the junior Wasnik was the former president of NSUI and also All India Youth Congress. When Ramesh Chennithala was the NSUI president, he was the treasurer.
In a role reversal, he went on to become the AIYC president and Mr Chennithala, the general secretary. For long, the Delhi Congress politicians had seen the tug of war between them.
But now they are close buddies. Whenever he comes to Kerala, there are certain things the eligible bachelor wishes to enjoy like taking a drive in the city, frequent bookstalls, and if time permits, dash off to Kumarakom for bird watching.
The Gandhi family loyalist has a fan following among the youth leaders here, especially those without group affiliations, as a patient listener.