Congress president poll: As nominations close, here are 10 things to know- QHN

The Indian National Congress (INC) is undergoing a leadership change. While Rahul Gandhi was elected as the party president unanimously in 2017, he stepped down after the party lost in the 2019 general elections. After Rahul Gandhi’s resignation, the former Congress president and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, was selected by the party’s decision-making body as the interim president of INC.

The Congress Working Committee, on August 28, announced the election schedule, after which leaders including Meira Kumar, Kamal Nath, Ambika Soni, Ashok Gehlot, and Shashi Tharoor, among others, were speculated as potential candidates. As the party prepares to elect a new president, here are ten things to know:

– This is the first Congress president election in more than 20 years with no member of the Gandhi family in the contest. The Gandhis have refused to contest, making way for other senior leaders to head the party.

– The recent exit of key senior leaders has also put the INC in a difficult situation as Rahul Gandhi started his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari.

– Veteran leaders Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) for Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Mallikarjun Kharge, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from Karnataka and Former Jharkhand minister K N Tripathi have filed their nomination papers for Congress president’s election.

– The filing of nominations for the post started on September 24 (Saturday) and ends on Friday at 3 pm.

– Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh, also entered the fray but later pulled out of the contest.

– Ashok Gehlot was the Gandhis’ first pick for the position. Before the rebellion, his supporters said they would not accept Sachin Pilot, who had rebelled against him in 2020, as his replacement as the Chief Minister.

– Digvijaya Singh, who had collected the nomination form, withdrew his candidature after Mallikarjun Kharge announced that he would also be filing the nomination. While talking to ANI, 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 the press that he is a candidate.”

– Mr Kharge is likely to resign as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha in line with the Congress party’s “one person, one post” stance.

– Whoever is chosen to lead the Congress has just two years to lead the party before the general elections of 2024.

– While voting is expected to take place on October 17, the election result will be declared on October 19.

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