Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022
×
Outlook.com
×

Congress President Race: Mallikarjun Kharge Is The 'Official Choice' To Join The Fray, Digvijaya Singh Backs Out

Mallikarjun Kharge's candidature is the last-minute entry to the race for the Congress President as today is the last day of application for the contest. After Ashok Gehlot, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh also opted out of the race.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge PTI

Amid the ongoing frantic developments where former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh entered the fray for the Congress president's election. After Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh also opted out of the race.

He said he has worked for the Congress all his life and will continue to do so.

"Kharge ji is my leader and my senior. I had asked him yesterday if he wanted to contest. He said no. I met him again today. I told him I am with you fully if you are contesting. I can't think of contesting against him. He is filing his nomination and I will be his proposer," said Singh.

"There are some non-negotiables in my life. I don't compromise on issues related to Dalits, tribals and OBCs; I don't compromise with those who spoil communal harmony and I don't compromise my commitment to the Gandhi family," he said.

Singh had expressed his inclination to contest the top party post and had collected 10 sets of nomination papers on Thursday after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot opted out of the race.

According to sources, Mallikarjun Kharge is now the secong candidate alongside Sashi Tharoor. 

Kharge is scheduled to meet President Sonia Gandhi Friday morning.

The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha will file his nomination for the October 17 election today as the third candidate alongside Digvijaya Singh and Shashi Tharoor, they said.

In accordance with the 'one person one post' rule decided by the party earlier this year, Mr Kharge will resign as the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said sources.

Mallikarjun Kharge's candidature is the last-minute entry to the race for the Congress President as today is the last day of application for the contest. Sashi Tharoor and Digvijay Singh too are expected to file their nomination before the 3 pm deadline.

"Kharge has told Sonia Gandhi that whatever the party decides, he will adhere to it," a close associate of the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said, adding: "Ultimately, he will do what the party (Sonia Gandhi) suggests him to do".

 A Congress leader said Kharge has "good connect and rapport" with opposition leaders like NCP chief Sharad Pawar and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury which would be an "added advantage" and "he is sharp as ever".

 "In the Hindi heartland also, he has got a sort of fan following for his Hindi," another leader said.

Sources close to 80-year-old Kharge, however, also said he believes only the Nehru-Gandhi family has the "enigma and charisma" and no one else has that kind of clout throughout the country.

Kharge, who has pitched for the return of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president, believes that with Lok Sabha elections just two years away, touring the country and taking the party forward is a "very humongous task", sources said.

"He (Kharge) has never declined anything that the party has asked him to do," the close aide said. "The party took care of him. Whatever the party decides, he will do.

(With PTI Inputs)

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement