NEW DELHI – Three Congress spokespersons — Deepender Hooda, Gourav Vallabh and Syed Naseer Hussain — resigned on Sunday to campaign for Mallikarjun Kharge for the presidential polls.
The move is being seen as a message to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who refused to resign ahead of filing the nomination for the party president’s post, and his loyalist MLAs who boycotted the CLP where Kharge was observer then. Gehlot later apologised to Sonia Gandhi and opted out from the poll.
Kharge, who resigned from the post of leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha on Saturday, said to the media, “I will begin my campaign from today and I am contesting not because of being a particular caste but I have been in the party for more than 50 years.”
On BJPs accusations of being remote controlled he said, “I have fifty years of experience in politics, and Gandhis have contributed immensely to the country in ten years of UPA rule… they did not take any post.”
Attacking the BJP, he said, “Anybody can tell how many delegates elected J.P. Nadda… 9,300 delegates will elect a new president in the party. The fight against the BJP will continue because their policies are anti-people.”
Kharge is facing Shashi Tharoor, who has begun his campaign for the party polls. Tharoor said on Saturday that he failed to understand as to why the G-23 leaders, who earlier talked about polls in the party, were now backing off and talking about general consensus.
It’s going to be Mallikarjun Kharge versus Shashi Tharoor in the Congress Presidential polls scheduled on October 17. And Kharge has got the support of not only the senior leadership of the party, but the G-23 leaders as well.
Talking exclusively to IANS, Tharoor said that the polls for the post of Congress president are being held after five years. The last election was held in 2017, which Rahul Gandhi had won unanimously. The last contested election was held in 2000, when Sonia Gandhi defeated Jitendra Prasada by a huge margin.
The Gandhi family has decided that it will not endorse any candidate this time. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi both are of the view that polls will strengthen the party, which is very good, Tharoor said. -IANS