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Digvijaya Singh pulls out of Congress President polls race; says cannot contest against Kharge

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said, "I went to Kharge's house yesterday and told him that if he runs, I will not." But, at the time, he stated that he had not made a decision. I learned today from the media that he will file his nomination. So I'm opting out because I can't bear the thought of competing against my senior."

Digvijaya Singh pulls out of Congress President polls race; says cannot contest against Kharge - adt
First Published Sep 30, 2022, 2:06 PM IST

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh opted out of the Congress presidential election on Friday, citing Mallikarjun Kharge's decision to file his nomination. Singh said he would back Mallikarjun Kharge in the election.

Singh said, "I met with Kharge yesterday (Thursday) to tell him that if he plans to contest, I will not. He is my senior." According to Singh, Kharge was not willing. However, Singh added, "I learned today (Friday) from the press that he is a contesting. So I met with him this morning to tell him that if he runs, I will not," Singh explained.

According to a Congress leader, Kharge, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, decided to run in the election after a series of meetings on Thursday.

The Congress leader said, "I cannot compromise on three issues: Dalit rights, the fight against communalism, and my faith in the party leadership," adding that if he had known Mallikarjun Kharge would run, he would not have collected the nomination form in the first place.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda was one of 23 leaders who wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, asking for radical changes in how the party operates in 2020, backed Kharge's candidature.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot withdrew from the race to become the next Congress President on Thursday and apologised to Gandhi for his loyalists' rebellion against the possible elevation of Sachin Pilot as his successor.

The deadline for submitting nomination papers for the much-anticipated election is Friday. With Digvijaya Singh withdrawing, the two main candidates for the election are Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge.

On Friday, Congress leader Pramod Tiwari announced he would be a proposer for Mallikarjun Kharge.

In contrast, Jharkhand Congress leader KN Tripathi has stated that he will file his nomination for the election on Friday. "Rahul Gandhi and party chief Sonia Gandhi have said that they are neither requesting nor declining anyone to run... we want to see what the party's rank and file want," he said.

During the election drama, Manish Tewari, rumoured to be a candidate, batted for a consensus candidate, indicating that he would not run. He recalled late Pranab Mukherjee's words that certain offices should be offered rather than sought, and the Congress president is one of them.

Also Read: Mallikarjun Kharge likely among Congress president poll frontrunners; last day of nomination today

Also Read: Ashok Gehlot pulls out of Congress President polls; says apologised to Sonia Gandhi

Also Read:It's Tharoor's own decision to contest Congress President Polls, says Kerala MP

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