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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. There are going to be over 75 nomination forms in favour of Rahul Gandhi that will be filed tomorrow, the sources said. Rahul Gandhi is likely to emerge as the lone candidate in the fray and decks have been cleared for his election as the Congress president, succeeding his mother, who has held the post for 19 years in a row now. The sources said that besides Sonia Gandhi and Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Sushilkumar Shinde, Ahmed Patel and party chief ministers will sign the papers as proposers. No one else has filed papers till today, according to Mullapally Ramachandran, the chairman of the party's Central Election Authority. "So far 90 nomination forms have been given out to state unit delegates.
No application for nomination has been submitted so far and tomorrow is the last date for filing nominations," Ramachandran told PTI. Congress delegates from various states will be at the party's headquarters on Akbar Road tomorrow, filing their sets of nomination papers proposing Rahul Gandhi's name for the top post. Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said all party general secretaries and CWC members, besides states and frontal organisations will file nomination forms in Rahul Gandhi's favour. Party spokesperson Sushmita Dev said Rahul Gandhi will file his nomination papers tomorrow. Asked about criticism of the party's internal polls, she said, "There has been criticism on whether the Congress election is democratic or not. I would say that this is such an election which is being supervised by the Election Commission of India." Dev said when one talks about electoral democracy, here is full transparency in these polls as they are held as per rules prescribed by the Election Commission. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who will be present tomorrow, wished Rahul Gandhi success and said his elevation was a "good sign for the party". "It is a good sign for the party and I'm sure he'll do extremely well," he said. Singh said he was very happy to see him at this position as "I have known Rahul since he was a little boy and I knew and could see it in him that he would one day rise to the top." "He has already performed and for the last few days we have been following him and the way he is drawing crowds in Gujarat," the Punjab chief minister added. As per the schedule, approved by the Congress Working Committee, the filing of nominations began on December 1 and will end on December 4 and after scrutiny the next day, the list of valid nominations will be published the same day at 3:30 pm. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is December 11, and the poll, if necessary, will be held on December 16 and the counting will take place on December 19.
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