Mallikarjun Kharge
In contest for the post of party president, Mr. Kharge, 80, has full support from the Gandhis. Several other party members have also backed him | Pic: The Federal

Kharge resigns as leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge resigned as the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, soon after he filed his nomination for the party’s presidential polls slated for October 17.

He sent a letter to Congress working president Sonia Gandhi on Friday (September 30) night, informing her about his decision to quit the Rajya Sabha post in deference to the party’s “one person, one post” rule announced at the Udaipur Chintan Shivir.

Also Read: Cong prez poll: All senior leaders will back Kharge, says Gehlot

Sonia will now appoint a new leader for the Rajya Sabha post. She will then convey the decision to the Rajya Sabha Chairman, Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Kharge, 80, has the full support of the Gandhis. Several other party members have also backed him. He faces a direct contest from Shashi Tharoor, a key member of the G-23 group. Several G-23 leaders have, however, backed Kharge for the post of party president.

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

Shashi Tharoor on Friday (September 30) called Kharge “Bhishma Pitamah of the Congress”. He said “we are not rivals; we are colleagues.” He, however, called Kharge a representative of the “status quo” in the party. If elected, Tharoor promised to bring change and progress in the party.

Former Jharkhand minister KN Tripathi, the third candidate in the contest for the post of party president, has also filed his papers.

Also Read: Shashi Tharoor: From distinguished UN career to being outspoken politician

According to sources, in order to maintain neutrality, the Gandhis may not vote in the internal elections.

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