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Rahul Gandhi was asked to request me to withdraw from Congress presidential poll, says Tharoor

Rahul Gandhi was asked to request me to withdraw from Congress presidential poll, says Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor, who is campaigning for the Congress president election, has claimed that some party leaders had asked Rahul Gandhi to request him to withdraw his nomination, PTI reported.

Recalling his conversation with Rahul Gandhi, Tharoor said party leaders had sought his withdrawal from the party presidential race but the former Congress chief did not agree to do that.

"He [Rahul Gandhi] wanted me to run as he believed that would only benefit the party. He said I should not withdraw and that I should contest in the election," PTI quoted Tharoor as saying.

"He reminded me that he has been saying so for the past 10 years that there should be a contest for the party chief's post."

The statement came in the wake of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran publicly declaring his support for veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge for the party chief's post.

Earlier in the day, he said that he never expected big leaders to support him and does not expect it even now.

"I assured them I will not back away. I will not betray those who have supported me till now. Their confidence in me is what gives me the strength to move forward." Noting that the "majority of his supporters are young party leaders and workers", he said he needs support from everyone and was not going to discount anyone.

Tharoor also said that he has seen a "partiality" on the part of some top party leaders and while he respects all senior leaders, their vote has the same value as that of any other Congress member or worker.

His comments also assume significance as none of the senior KPCC leaders like Sudhakaran, V D Satheesan, and Ramesh Chennithala, were present to greet Tharoor when he arrived at the party office in the state capital.

Regarding Sudhakaran's statement, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said the KPCC chief probably expressed his personal decision and preference, and "there is nothing wrong with that."

The polling for the Congress presidential election 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.

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TAGS:rahul gandhi Congress president-polls Shashi Tharoor 
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