Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday resumed the Bharat Jodo Yatra from Tondavadi Gate in the Gundlupet region of Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar.
Today marks the Yatra’s 24th day, which began at 6.30 am and will reach its first break point at Kalale Gate near Servo Motors at 10 am. After resuming from Kalale Gate at 4.30 pm, the Congress leader walks to Chikkayana Chatra Thandavapura in Mysore by 7 pm.
The participants of the 3,500-km march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir will stay opposite the Maharaja Institute of Technology (MIT) in Thandavapura of Mysore at night.
The march was aimed to cover as many as 12 states in five months. It recently reached Karnataka on Friday (September 30) and will be here for the next 21 days before moving north.
The Padyatra (march) will cover a distance of 25 km every day.
Meanwhile, Congress is holding internal elections for the post of the party’s president for which as many as 20 nomination forms were submitted, including the ones of party leaders Shashi Tharoor, Mallikarjun Kharge, and KN Tripathi.
Congress Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry informed that the Gandhi family is not endorsing anybody in the elections.
Mistry said this after Mallikarjun Kharge, who is a known Gandhi family loyalist, entered into the fray at the eleventh hour and several top leaders including from the G-23 faction flanked Kharge when he filed the nomination papers today.
Mistry added that 14 nominations were received by Mallikarjun Kharge, five by Shashi Tharoor, and one by Jharkhand Congress leader KN Tripathi.
“14 forms submitted by (Mallikarjun) Kharge, 5 by Shashi Tharoor, and one by KN Tripathi. Tomorrow, we will scrutinize forms, and tomorrow evening we will announce forms that are valid and the names of candidates,” said Mistry at the press briefing.
Senior Congress leader and MP, Shashi Tharoor on Friday filed his nomination for the post of party President at the office of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in the national capital.
Kharge received support from nearly 30 Congress leaders for the party’s presidential polls.
These names include Deepender Hooda, Salman Khurshid, Ashok Gehlot, Digvijaya Singh, Manish Tewari, Prithviraj Chavan, and others.
Meanwhile, Jharkhand Congress leader KN Tripathi also filed his nomination for the party’s topmost position yesterday and said that “the decision of party leaders is respected”.
“I belong to a farmer’s family. The country is seeing that son of a farmer who has experience of serving with the Indian Air Force, minister in state government and elected as deputy leader of Jharkhand Legislative Assembly, can also contest for the post of AICC President,” Tripathi had said before filing his nominations.
Terming Kharge as the ‘Bhishma Pita’ of the Congress, Tharoor had said that he will not withdraw his nomination and the contest will be friendly with no rivalry between the candidates.
Both Manish Tewari and Tharoor belong to the G-23 grouping of senior leaders within the party. Reports had suggested Tewari was himself thinking of contesting.
Meanwhile, former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh dropped out of the Congress presidential race. He too extended his support to Kharge, saying he “cannot think of contesting an election” against a senior leader like Kharge.
Singh was the second Congress leader to pull out of the race after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot amid political turmoil in his state. Gehlot said he would be the proposer for Kharge.
Nominations for the post of Congress president close at 3 pm today and results will be declared on October 19.