CP polls: Its Kharge vs Tharoor as KN Tripathis nomination rejected

CP polls: It's Kharge vs Tharoor as KN Tripathi's nomination rejected

The Congress presidential polls will now see a contest between Gandhi loyalist Mallikarjun Kharge and G-23 leader Shashi Tharoor, as the party’s central election authority on Saturday rejected the candidature of former Jharkhand minister KN Tripathi.

The three had filed nominations on Friday, the last day of the process. The withdrawal of nominations is allowed till October 8 and the final list of candidates will be out at 5 pm on the same day.

Addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters in Delhi, the party’s central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry said the panel met for scrutiny of nomination forms on Saturday.

Also read: CP polls: Kharge’s entry safe for Gandhis, risky for Congress in North

While a total of 20 forms were received during the nomination process, four were rejected as signatures were repeated or did not match. While Kharge submitted 14 forms, Tharoor submitted five and Tripathi one.

“Two candidates – Kharge and Tharoor – are in a direct contest now. One form of another candidate from Jharkhand has been rejected,” Mistry said.

He added that if neither of the candidates pulls out of the contest till October 8, then the polling will be held.

Mistry said Tripathi’s form was rejected as the signature of one of his proposers did not match and another proposer’s signature was repeated. While one rejected form was of Tripathi, Mistry refused to divulge who had filed the other three forms that were rejected.

Tharoor relayed the election authority’s decision on Twitter. “Delighted to learn that, following scrutiny, Shri Kharge and I will be squaring off in the friendly contest for President of Congress. May the party and all our colleagues benefit from this democratic process!” he tweeted.

The window for filing of nomination papers was between September 24 and 30. The polling, if needed, will be held on October 17. The counting of votes will be taken up on October 19 and the results will be declared the same day.

Also read: As history shows, intra-party election can be make or break for Congress

Kharge after filing his nomination paper sent his resignation as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha to party chief Sonia Gandhi late on Friday night.

Senior leaders P Chidambaram and Digvijaya Singh are learnt to be the front-runners to take on the mantle of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha. A Dalit leader from Karnataka, Kharge has emerged as the clear favourite for the Congress president post. More than 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates will vote in the election.

(With inputs from agencies)

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