As Kharge steps in, Digvijaya Singh confirms he won't contest against him
New Delhi, Sep 30: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday announced that he will not contest the party president's election and would instead propose the candidature of his senior Mallikarjun Kharge.
Speaking to reporters, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said,''Kharge Ji is my senior. I went to his residence yesterday and told him that I won't file my nomination if he's filing for Congress President. He said that he won't be filing. Afterwards, I got to know via press that he is a candidate.''
''I told him that I stand by him and can't even think of contesting against him; I will be his proposer,'' Digvijaya Singh said.
Kharge (80) is likely to meet Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi ahead of the 3 pm deadline for filing of nomination papers for the crucial election.
Kharge, a Congress veteran, will be the third candidate to contest presidential election along with Digvijaya Singh and Shashi Tharoor. Kharge is an eight-time MLA, two-time Lok Sabha MP and Rajya Sabha MP. He was also former KPCC President, ex- home minister and union minister.
As things stand now, the contest is now between Shashi Tharoor and Kharge who set to file their nominations today as the battle for Congress president poll intensifies.
The development comes after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who was earlier tipped to be the party's official candidate, bowed out after taking 'moral responsibility' for MLA boycott of CLP meeting. He also apologised to interim president Sonia Gandhi for the high-octane drama in Rajasthan.
Meanwhile, three Gehlot loyalists were served notices on Tuesday for grave indiscipline after Congress observers submitted their report to party president Sonia Gandhi amid a political turmoil in the state. They have been asked to reply within 10 days as to why disciplinary action not be taken against them.
The polling will take place on October 17 and votes will be counted two days later. The grand old party last held the elections for the post of party chief in November 2000. Jitendra Prasada had lost to Sonia Gandhi in 2000 and prior to that, Sitaram Kesri had defeated Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot in 1997.