Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 1
There will be a direct contest between Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor for the post of Congress president with papers of the third candidate KN Tripathi, former Jharkhand MLA of the party, rejected on Saturday following scrutiny.
Chairman of the Congress Central Election Authority Madhusudan Mistry after the scrutiny committee meeting on Saturday said the authority had received 20 nomination forms of which four have been rejected for variation of proposer signature and repetition and smudging of proposer signatures.
All rejected forms pertain to Tripathi, Mistry said announcing that there are now two official candidates in the fray for the party president post.
“The last date for withdrawals is October 8. If none of the candidates in the fray withdraw, we will proceed with formalities of voting and election,” said Mistry.
The election if required would be held on October 17, a first in 22 years. The last election saw Sonia Gandhi defeat late Jitendra Prasad, the father of UP BJP leader Jitin Prasad who switched over to the saffron side earlier.
Kharge, a nine time Karnataka MLA and a third term MP is tipped to be the Congress president as an official nominee of the Gandhis.
Tharoor, a Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram has meanwhile decided to continue his bid saying he won’t withdraw even as his own G-23 colleagues on Friday called for consensus and backed Kharge.
Kharge will be the first non-Gandhi to head Congress in 24 years after Sitaram Kesri who demitted office in 1998 when Sonia Gandhi came in to become the longest serving party chief.
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