It’s Kharge Vs Tharoor After Digvijay Pulls Out Of Congress Prez Contest

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh on Friday opted out of the election for the post of Congress president.

New Delhi | Updated: 30 September, 2022 1:43 pm IST

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh on Friday opted out of the election for the post of Congress president a day after he had collected form to file his nomination. The reason for his pulling out is the veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge who has thrown his hat in the ring. He will now lock horns with Shashi Tharoor for the party’s top post.

Kharge, 80, holds the distinction of winning elections 10 times in a row – nine times for the assembly and once for Lok Sabha in 2014, was a wild card entry in the Congeess president election.

According to party sources, Kharge is said to be the choice of the Gandhi family after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot opted out of the race on Thursday after meeting Sonia Gandhi at her residence, four days after the ripples of revolt were seen in his home state. Gehlot, who was said to be the choice of the Gandhi family for the top post, also apologised to Sonia Gandhi during his meeting with her.

Kharge will have to resign from the post of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha because of “one man, one post” dictum propounded by the Congress.

Speaking to media, Singh said, “Kharge ji is my senior. I went to his residence yesterday and told him that I would not file my nomination if he is filing. He told me that he would not be filing. Afterwards, I got to know through press that he is a candidate. So, I’ve decided not to proceed with my nomination. I will be a proposer for Kharge ji.”

Singh had flown to Delhi on Wednesday night from Kerala where he was participating in party’s 3,570 km Bharat Jodo Yatra.

At the party headquarters, Pramod Tiwari and Mukul Wasnik also stated that they are proposers of Kharge. They also said Kharge will file nomination papers today.

Even G23 leaders Anand Sharma and Manish Tewari also arrived at the party headquarters.

Congress is witnessing an election for the top post after a hiatus of 21 years. Sonia Gandhi was the party chief for 18 years on the trot from 2000 to 2017. In 2017, Rahul Gandhi became the president but quit after Congress copped a humiliating drubbing in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Since then, Sonia has been holding the post of interim Congress chief.

As per the election schedule, the date of notification is September 22, and the candidates can file their nominations between September 24 and 30. The last date of withdrawal is October 8. The date of the election (if needed) is October 17 (Monday) from 10 am to 4 pm. The counting and declaration of results (if needed) will happen on October 19.

On September 22, Congress CEA Chairman Madhusudan Mistry had issued the notification of the party president election.

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