Congress President election: Senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is contesting for party's top post against Shashi Tharoor, on Sunday said he has not entered the polls to oppose anyone but to strengthen the party.
Kharge said he entered the polls after senior and young leaders alike urged him to enter the fray.
"The day I filed my nomination, I gave a resignation from my post aligning with the 'One Person One Post' decision of the party taken in Udaipur. I officially begin my campaign for the post of Congress party president today," he said.
Post his candidature for party's President election, Congress leaders Gourav Vallabh, Deepender S Hooda & Syed Naseer Hussain resigned from Congress' spokesperson post to campaign for Kharge.
"All 3 of us (Congress leaders Gourav Vallabh, Deepender S Hooda & Syed Naseer Hussain) resigned from the post of official spokesperson to campaign for the election of Mallikarjun Kharge as party president & want this election to be free & fair," Gourav Vallabh said.
There is unemployment, inflation is rising, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, and all promises of the BJP remain unfulfilled, Kharge said at a press conference flanked by Deepender Hooda, Syed Naseer Hussain and Gourav Vallabh.
Asked about Shashi Tharoor's remarks that he is a candidate for change while Kharge is a candidate of continuity and status quo, Kharge said after polls any decision for reform will be taken jointly and not by one person.
He also rejected suggestions that the Gandhi family was backing him, saying he was urged by other leaders to contest.
Kharge and Tharoor were left in the fray in the Congress presidential poll after former Jharkhand minister K N Tripathi's nomination was rejected on Saturday.
According to a notification issued by the Congress on Thursday, the process for filing nominations for the election was from September 24 to 30. The date for scrutiny of the nomination papers was on 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 (PCC) delegates will vote in the poll.
(With inputs from PTI)