Senior Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor, Mallikarjun Kharge, and K N Tripathi have filed their nomination papers in New Delhi on Friday for the Congress party presidential elections. The polling will take place on October 17 and the votes will be counted on October 19. As per news reports, Kharge was Gandhi family’s last-minute choice for the much-awaited elections. Earlier, there were talks that veteran leader Digvijaya Singh would also join the race. But he opted out after have a meeting with Kharge on Friday morning.
As per news reports, all three leaders filed their nominations to the party's central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry at his office at the AICC headquarters. This is the first presidential election is being held in more than 20 years with non-Gandhis competing for the post. The Gandhis have refused to contest and said other senior leaders should get a chance to lead the party.
Support for Kharge
As per news reports, senior leader Kharge’s nomination has received backing from most part colleagues. Kharge reportedly met interim party chief Sonia Gandhi late on Thursday night for the election. Since then, many leaders have reportedly given their support to his candidacy. Supporting his candidacy, senior leader Congress MP Manickam Tagore said: “After 51 years a Dalit leader again can be Congress President … 9000 PCC members will decide it on 17 October. Ballot and Polls in only one party it’s Indian National Congress."
After filing his nomination papers, Kharge told ANI: “I have worked for the Congress all my life till now, and I will continue doing so. I don't compromise on three things - standing for the Dalit, tribals and poor, fighting against those who disturb communal harmony, and my commitment to Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi family.”
Friendly contest, says Tharoor
Reacting to Kharge’s nomination, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said that the contest is friendly as Kharge is the 'Bhishma Pitamah' of the Congress. "It is a friendly contest that is going to happen. We are not enemies or rivals. No disrespect to him but I will represent my ideas.”
He stressed that he has the vision to strengthen the party in the future, which should be a vehicle for "change".
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