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A host of party heavyweights will be present when Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi files his nomination for the party chief's post at its headquarters here on Monday, with over 90 sets of nomination papers likely to be filed to support his candidature.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh will be among proposers for the candidature of Rahul Gandhi for the party chief's post.
Accompanied by her mother Sonia Gandhi, Singh and other senior Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi will file his nomination papers for the election to the top Congress post tomorrow, the last date for filing of nominations.
According to party sources, there were apprehensions among the party leaders earlier over the incumbent president being among the proposers to Rahul Gandhi's candidature.
The sources said that Sonia Gandhi will be the first proposer in one of the four nominations Rahul Gandhi will file.
The former prime minister will be the lead proposer in another set of nomination form.
Six Chief Ministers -- Punjab's Amarinder Singh, Karnataka's Siddaramaiah, Himachal Pradesh's Virbhadra Singh, Puducherry's V. Narayanasamy, Meghalaya's Mukul Sangma and Mizoram's Lal Thanhawla -- are expected to be present when over 90 sets of nomination papers are likely to be filed by various leaders to extend support to Rahul Gandhi's candidature.
Congress state unit chiefs, senior leaders and Pradesh Congress Committee delegates will be present at the party's central office to express support to Rahul Gandhi ahead of his much-awaited elevation.
The Congress Vice President is likely to reach the party headquarters around 10.30 a.m. to file his nomination. He will sign sets of nomination papers to be filed before the Returning Officer.
Mullappally Ramachandran, the Returning Officer for the organisational election, told IANS that 90 nomination forms were taken by different states though not one has been submitted so far.
The process of nominations started on Friday. The last date for filing nominations is December 4.
Reacting to criticism over the election process, Congress Spokesperson Sushmita Dev told the media: "All I want to say is that it is happening under Election Commission supervision. When we talk about electoral democracy, I wish to say, we conduct (internal) elections while adhering to Election Commission rules. It is being done with full transparency. We have not violated any rules."
She said if someone was raising questions, what was the basis on which they were doing so. "I won't be able to comment about it. Only those who have raised the issue can explain."
On Sunday, many senior Congress leaders, its members of Parliament and PCC chiefs arrived at the party headquarters to sign the papers, including Sachin Pilot, Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Shukla, P.C. Chacko, Shobha Oza, Hamdulla Sayeed and others.
Apart from states and union territories, senior leaders on the Congress Working Committee (CWC), including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, A.K. Antony, Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad are likely to submit different sets of nomination papers.
This proposal comes days after Maharashtra Congress secretary Shehzad Poonawalla called the election process "rigged", citing he had the information that the delegates, who were going to vote for the party president election, were fixed.
Meanwhile, the proposal was signed by Ashok Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Patangrao Kadam, Naseem Khan and others. It will be sent to the Central Election Committee conducting the AICC president post elections.
The process for the election began with a notification on November 30.
The last date for filing nominations is December 4 and Rahul Gandhi is also expected to file his nomination on the same day.
The final list of the candidates contesting the election will be published on December 11.
Sonia Gandhi has been serving as the president of the party for over 19 years.
The elevation of Rahul Gandhi, who is presently spearheading the Congress campaign ahead of the December 9 and 14 Gujarat assembly polls, has been much talked about in party circles for around two years.
He will succeed his mother Sonia Gandhi, the longest serving Congress chief who has helmed the party since 1998.