Guwahati: Congress youngsters with me, seniors backing Kharge, says Tharoor
Senior Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor will file his nomination for the Congress president’s post on September 30 at 11 AM, party’s central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry said on Tuesday, even as suspense prevailed over who would take on the Kerala MP in the polls.

Tharoor had on Monday claimed the support of party workers from across the country for his bid to get elected as AICC president.

Mistry said a representative of Tharoor has informed his office that he will file his nomination papers for the post of president on September 30 at 11 AM.

The former Union minister had taken five forms and took two more later, according to Mistry.

Tharoor’s close aide Aalim Javeri had collected five forms from the office of the party’s central election authority chairman Mistry on the first day of the nomination process on Saturday.

The Kerala MP seems set to contest the polls for the top post but it is not clear who will be his electoral rival as the Rajasthan developments have put a cloud over Ashok Gehlot’s candidature.

Mistry also said AICC treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal has got nomination forms collected, adding that it may be for someone else.

Speaking with reporters at his office at the AICC headquarters here, Mistry said he met party chief Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence on Tuesday and handed over her voter’s ID card.

He also briefed Gandhi about how many people have collected the nomination forms and about the delegates.

He said Bansal got the nomination forms collected from his office on Monday and it may be “as a supporter” of someone.

When pressed further as to whether Bansal may have collected the forms for himself or someone else, Mistry said he cannot say for whom he has collected as it is not the procedure to ask for whom forms are being collected as any delegate can collect the forms.

According to a notification issued by the party on Thursday, the process for filing nominations for the election will be held from September 24 to 30.

The date for scrutiny of nomination papers is October 1, while the last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 8.

The final list of candidates will be published at 5 pm on October 8.

The polling, if needed, will be held on October 17. The counting of votes will be taken up on October 19 and the results will be declared the same day.

More than 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee delegates will vote in the poll.

The Congress last saw a contest for the party president’s post 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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