Mallikarjun Kharge files nomination for Congress president, set to become new party chief | The Financial Express

Mallikarjun Kharge files nomination for Congress president, set to become new party chief

It is now Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor versus Mallikarjun Kharge for the top post, as both filed nomination for the Congress president post today.

Mallikarjun Kharge files nomination for Congress president, set to become new party chief
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge leaves from his residence to file his nomination papers for the post of party President on September 30, 2022. (PTI Photo/Atul Yadav)

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge filed his nomination at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi on Friday. Kharge, a Gandhi family loyalist, emerged as the top choice of the high command after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot opted out of the race following a rebellion by his loyalist MLAs. 

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who collected nomination papers yesterday and was all set to enter the contest, today said he was opting out of the race and will Kharge as the party chief.

Also Read: Shashi Tharoor files nomination for Congress president, makes grand entry at AICC headquarters

Kharge has 30 Congress leaders backing him. They are AK Anthony, Ashok Gehlot, Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik, Anand Sharma, Abhishek Singhvi, Ajay Maken, Bhupinder S Hooda, Digvijaya Singh, Tariq Anwar, Manish Tewari, Salman Khurshid, among others, ANI reported.

It is now Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor versus Mallikarjun Kharge for the top post, as both filed nomination for the Congress president post.

Shashi Tharoor, too, filed his nomination today at the AICC headquarters, amid the sound of drumbeats and fanfare.

Tharoor said in a tweet, “I have just submitted my nomination papers as a candidate for the presidential election of Congress. It is a privilege to serve the only party in India with an open democratic process to choose its leader. Greatly appreciate Soniaji’s guidance and vision.”

After filing his nomination, at a press conference, Tharoor said, “I have a vision for Congress which I will be sending to all delegates, we are going to seek their support…I am here to be the voice of all party workers.”

“Nomination papers I submitted reflect extraordinarily wide range of support extended voluntarily to me by party workers across India. We have submitted 5 forms, 50 signs. We are about to submit the 6th form before 3 PM, which will take the total to 60(signs),” he added.

Referring to Kharge, his contender Tharoor said, “We are not enemies/rivals, we are colleagues and we are interested in seeing party going forward… LoP RS Mallikarjun Kharge is the ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of our party. Let party workers decide how to proceed. I won’t say anything negative about Kharge, Digvijaya Singh, Tripathi,” he said.

Kharge is likely to become the president of Congress with the backing of interim president Sonia Gandhi and several top leaders of the Congress.

“I welcome Mallikarjun Kharge’s nomination for Congress president post, confident that he will elected. Over the years, he has raised the voice of the people in Parliament. I have signed his nomination papers as a proposer,” Hooda said, as quoted by ANI.

Also Read: Mallikarjun Kharge vs Shashi Tharoor for Congress president, Digvijaya Singh opts out of race

Gehlot, who opted out of the president’s race citing “moral responsibility” following the political turmoil in Rajasthan, told reporters in Delhi, “Our senior leaders together have taken the decision regarding Kharge’s nomination, I will be a proposer for him.”

Polling for the Congress president post will take place on October 17, and the result will be announced on October 19. The Congress will see a contest for the party chief post after 22 years.

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