Shashi Tharoor, K.N. Tripathi, and Mallikarjun Kharge file Congress nominations

Three Congress leaders, including MP Shashi Tharoor, veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Jharkhand Congress leader K.N. Tripathi filed their nomination for the post of Congress president on September 30, 2022.

Mr. Tharoor filed his nomination at the office of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in New Delhi. The senior Congress leader visited Raj Ghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi before visiting the office of the AICC.

Mr. Tharoor will be addressing a press conference at his residence. “I have already submitted five nomination forms with signatures of 10 delegates each. I am in the process of submitting the sixth form,” he said. Among Kerala MPs, only M. K. Raghavan has signed his nomination form.

Among the signatories to Mr. Kharge’s nomination are G-23 leaders Manish Tewari, Prithviraj Chavan, and Anand Sharma. Other senior leaders who have attested his nomination are A. K. Antony, Ashok Gehlot, Ambika Soni, Ajay Maken and Salman Khurshid among others.

When asked about the G-23 leaders who backed Mr. Kharge’s nomination, Mr. Tharoor said, ”This tells you a story”, adding that if the delegates want a status quoist, then they must vote for Mr. Kharge, and if they want to vote for reforms, they must vote for Mr. Tharoor.

Mr. Tharoor, however, said he will go by the assurance of neutrality given by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi

Kharge fighting for ‘big change’

Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge, who has also thrown his hat into the ring, filed his nomination in the presence of Ashok Gehlot, Anand Sharma, Prithviraj Chavan among others

Mr. Sharma and Mr. Chavan are members of the ginger group that has written to Sonia Gandhi, seeking internal reforms. Mr. Tharoor was also signatory to the 2020 letter.

After filing the nomination, Mr. Kharge said “I thank senior leaders from all States for supporting me in the Congress presidential election.”

The Congress leader appealed to delegates to vote for him in the Congress presidential election, and adding that he is “fighting for big change.”

Digvijaya backs Tripathi’s nomination

Meanwhile, Jharkhand Congress leader K.N. Tripathi, who also filed his nomination for the party’s topmost position, said that “the decision of party leaders is respected”.

“I belong to a farmer’s family. The country is seeing that the son of a farmer who has experience serving with the Indian Air Force, is a Minister in State government and elected as deputy leader of Jharkhand Legislative Assembly, can also contest for the post of AICC president,” Mr. Tripathi had said before filing his nominations today.

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, who withdrew from the race, visited Mr. Kharge at his residence this morning. “I told him that I stand by him and can’t even think of contesting against him, I will be his proposer,” Mr. Singh told reporters.

Congress MP Deepender S. Hooda said “I welcome Mallikarjun Kharge’s nomination for Congress president post and am confident that he will get elected. Over the years, he has raised the voice of the people in Parliament. I’ve signed his nomination papers as a proposer.”

Also Read | Why Rajasthan is key to the Congress’s chances of revival

Mr. Gehlot had on Thursday said he is pulling out of the contest after he met with Sonia Gandhi and apologised to her for the ruckus in Rajasthan triggered by his loyalists over a possible leadership change in the State after Mr. Gehlot was set to file his nomination papers for the Congress chief polls.

Nominations for the post of Congress president close at 3 p.m. and results will be declared on October 19. With the Gandhis not running for the top post this time around, the grand old party is all set to get a non-Gandhi president after over 25 years..

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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