New Delhi: Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor on Friday filed their nomination forms for the party president election.
Kharge, who is said to be the pick of the Gandhi family, had top Congress leaders like AK Antony, Ashok Gehlot, Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik, Anand Sharma, Ajay Maken, Bhupinder Hooda, Digvijay Singh, Salman Khurshid, Manish Tewari among a number of leaders as proposers.
Talking to the media after filing his nomination, Kharge thanked the leaders who backed his nomination. “I have always fought for the ideals of the Congress party. I have been linked with the Congress ideology since childhood…” Kharge said. He also appealed for support for the elections.
Tharoor, meanwhile, said he got support from leaders from 12 states, and said this shows that his voice is not a lone voice.
“Our expectation is that Congress should be strengthened and take the country forward. The 21st century is an important period for the country, things are not fine under the BJP government. There was demonetisation, there is a historical unemployment situation, and the pinch of inflation is being felt by all,” said Tharoor, adding that Congress should be the party for change.
“We want a transformation in the party, decentralisation of the organisation,” he said.
Tharoor said India is a country of youth and the party should reflect that.
As the nominations closed, Congress’ central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry said they received 20 nomination forms, of which 14 were filed by Kharge, five by Tharoor and one by KN Tripathi from Jharkhand.
The forms will be scrutinised on Saturday and the names of the candidates will be announced.
Mistry said none of the three candidates are official candidates of the party.
“Congress president has made it very clear since the beginning that she is neutral in the election, anyone who claims they have the blessing of Congress president is not right. Everyone is an individual candidate, and they will campaign on their own. State PCCs will not officially call any meeting. No one in the Gandhi family has endorsed any of the nominations,” said Mistry.
He said the Gandhi family is neutral, and not supporting any candidate.
Scrutiny of nominations will be held on October 1. The nominations can be withdrawn till 3 pm on October 8, and the first list of candidates will be published at 5 pm on the same day.
Election will be held on October 17, counting will be held on October 19 and results will be declared.