Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who is preparing to contest the All India Congress Committee (AICC) presidential polls, met the party's central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry on Wednesday, 21 September, and enquired about the nomination formalities.
Tharoor reached the AICC headquarters in New Delhi and spoke to Mistry at his office, a day before the Congress' central election authority is to issue the notification for the polls to elect the next Congress president.
When asked about his meeting with Tharoor, Mistry told PTI that he cleared his enquiry on the voters' list, election agent, and the filing of nomination.
The meeting was mainly about queries on formalities for the filing of nomination, he said.
Will Stay Neutral in Elections, Says Sonia Gandhi
Tharoor on Monday, 19 September, met Sonia Gandhi and expressed his intention to contest the upcoming AICC chief polls. Sonia Gandhi conveyed that she would stay "neutral" in the elections, according to sources.
She welcomed the idea of more people contesting the elections and dispelled the notion that there would be an "official candidate," they had said.
On Wednesday, 21 September, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also met Sonia Gandhi. His meeting with the Congress chief came hours after it was hinted that he might enter the fray for the AICC presidential polls.
Sources said the AICC presidential poll was on the agenda in the discussions between Gehlot and Sonia Gandhi. Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi told Gehlot she would not be taking any sides in the elections for Congress chief, according to NDTV.
Gehlot met her at her 10, Janpath residence. He is expected to reach Kochi on Thursday, 22 September, and make a last-ditch effort to convince Rahul Gandhi to take over the reins of the party.
'Will Fulfil Any Role Given to Me'
"The party and the high-command have given me everything. I have been on posts for 40-50 years. For me, no post is important, I will fulfil any responsibility given to me," Gehlot said.
Earlier in the day, Gehlot told news agency ANI, "If people in the party think I'm needed in the role of party president or CM, then I won't say no....I'll again request Rahul Gandhi (to become Cong president). If he conducts Bharat Jodo Yatra as party president, then it'll create an aura for the party."
After more than two decades, the Congress is likely to see a contest for the post of its chief, with Shashi Tharoor looking set to enter the fray after his meeting with Sonia Gandhi, and Gehlot indicating that he will throw his hat in the ring if Rahul Gandhi does not agree to take on the party's reins.
The process of filing nominations for the election will be held from 24 September to 30 September.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI, and NDTV.)