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Mallikarjun Kharge in fray for Congress president, Digvijay may step back

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge will file his nomination for the post of Congress president on Friday. Digvijay Singh, who collected the nomination forms on Thursday is meanwhile likely to opt out of the race after Kharge’s decision, sources said.

Digvijaya Singh meanwhile met party Kharge on Friday morning. Sources said he will not file his nomination now since Kharge is in fray.

Kharge is being seen as the candidate backed by the Gandhi family for the post. Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor is also likely to file his nomination today.

On Friday morning, Tharoor reached Raj Ghat in New Delhi to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi ahead of filing his nomination. Asked about the contest, he said, “When you enter a race, you know that the outcome is uncertain but you go with confidence that you’ll give a good account of yourself.”

“We are all party colleagues, we want the party to be strengthened. We are not rivals, there is going to be a friendly contest. We all want the party to be strong,” said Tharoor.

Asked about Kharge’s entry in the race, he said, “he is a respected colleague, it will be a good thing to have more people in the fray”.

Congress’ central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry meanwhile said they are ‘fully prepared’.

“We’re fully prepared to hold the elections for the party’s presidential post. Any person can submit his nomination form between 11am and 3pm today,” he said.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday announced he will not contest for the post of Congress President.

Gehlot, who was the front runner in the race for Congress President before a rebellion by his supporters in Rajasthan, said he apologised to Sonia Gandhi that he could not get the resolution passed despite being the chief minister.

September 30 is the last day for filing nominations for the post of Congress President.

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The nominations can be withdrawn till 3 pm on October 8, and the first list of candidates will be published at 5 pm on the same day.

If there are more than one candidate, the election will be held on October 17 and counting will be held on October 19 and results will be declared.

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