On the final day of submission, both Kharge and Tharoor filed nomination papers on Friday. Both Kharge and Tharoor were backed by colleagues as they filed
Since then, there has been much banter between the two over the polls. While Kharge had said that he preferred a consensus candidate, Tharoor said he would want a democratic election. However, both the leaders said that there was no rift between the Congress and it was a health contest.
The results for the election will be declared on October 19.
Here's what you need to know:
Tharoor wants a 'democratic contest'
Tharoor has maintained he was participating in the elections for it to be a democratic contest, rather than just one candidate being decided out of consensus. After Kharge's remark on Sunday Tharoor took to Twitter and said, "Let me make clear that I agree with Khargeji that all of us in the Congress wish to take on the BJP rather than each other. There is no ideological difference between us. The choice for our voting colleagues on Oct 17 is only on how to do it most effectively."
Tharoor has started a social media hashtag #ThinkTomorrowThinkTharoor as he campaigned for the elections. He has visited several locations in Maharashtra and said he was in Hyderabad for a brief visit where he met party workers.
Tharoor has said that those who want a change in Congress, should vote for him. After filing nominations, Tharoor had told the media, "But those who would like to continue the status quo would not be inclined to vote for me because I represent change, a different approach, and a vision to take the party forward in a different way as for some years we've been suffering setbacks."
Tharoor had said he did not want to bow out of the polls despite Kharge having the support of big Congress names because many candidates were "needed for the party's benefit".
Tharoor has found support in other Congress leaders like Salman Soz and Assam Congress leader Pradyut Bordoloi. Bordoli took to Twitter and said in a video that he supports Tharoor as the president of the Congress party.
Tharoor is currently the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram.
What Kharge said about the elections
Kharge began his campaign on Sunday marking the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. His candidature was supported by several senior Congress leaders such as Digvijaya Singh and Ashok Gehlot. Ajay Maken, AK Antony, Ambika Soni, and Bhupinder Singh Hooda were among those who put their names on Kharge's nomination papers.
Speaking about Tharoor's candidacy, Kharge said, "He called me to congratulate me. I told him it would be better if a leader was chosen through the consensus method. But he said we have to have a fair fight through democracy, so I decided to fight."
Kharge said that he was contesting the polls because he was told by everyone that he must contest the polls. He maintained that there was no fight in between the leaders of the Congress party. ANI quoted him as saying, "Many leaders of the party asked me to contest the presidential elections. We both are contesting party president elections but after that, we'll work together to strengthen the party."
Digvijaya Singh and Ashok Gehlot, who both were said to be contesting, put their weights behind him.
Kharge is the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
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