Adding more thrill to the Congress president election, which is taking place after a gap of 21 years, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge is also likely to file nomination papers for the party’s top post, sources said on Friday.
The entry of Kharge, who is also the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, has made the contest triangular with veteran party leaders Digvijaya Singh and Shashi Tharoor already in the fray.
Kharge, along with Tharoor and Singh, will file nomination papers today at the party headquarters.
According to sources, Kharge is said to have the backing of Gandhi family for the party’s top post, after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot made it clear he will not contest the election under the current circumstances.
Earlier, Gehlot was said to be the favourite of the Gandhi family for the top post. However, things took a dramatic turn when on Sunday MLAs loyal to Rajasthan CM revolted in Rajasthan over the possible elevation of Sachin Pilot as the state’s CM.
Interestingly, Kharge was one of the Congress observers , along with party leader Ajay Maken, who were sent to the desert state to get a resolution passed.
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 issued the notification of the party president election.