Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was all set to become the president of the party, emerging on Tuesday as the sole and unopposed claimant to the post. The party’s returning officer for the election said he was the only validly nominated candidate after the scrutiny of 89 nominations filed on his behalf by several party leaders yesterday. “There is now only one validly nominated candidate, that is Shri Rahul Gandhi,” returning officer Mullappally Ramachandran said. The old guard exuded confidence in his leadership and said he would steer the party to greater heights. While former prime minister Manmohan Singh yesterday described him as the “darling of the Congress”, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said he would make a “good future prime minister”. Ramachandran, who is also the chairman of the party’s Central Election Authority which is conducting the internal polls, said a total of 89 nomination papers were received, all proposing Rahul Gandhi’s name.
All the nominations were found to be valid after the scrutiny today. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is December 11, when the returning officer will declare him elected as the new Congress president.