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Congress race heats up, Kharge a front runner as 'sorry' Gehlot opts out

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New Delhi, Sep 30: In a fresh twist to the Congress presidential election saga, the name of Mallikarjun Kharge is now doing rounds. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha 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.

Congress race heats up, Kharge a front runner as sorry Gehlot opts out

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.

Congress leadership race opens up: It's Digvijaya vs Tharoor vs Gehlot for nowCongress leadership race opens up: It's Digvijaya vs Tharoor vs Gehlot for now

As things stand now, the contest looks three cornered with Shashi Tharoor and Digvijaya Singh 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.

Mallikarjun Kharge
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Mallikarjun Kharge

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.

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