New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): Congress leader Manish Tewari, who is a part of the G-23 grouping, on Friday extended support to Mallikarjun Kharge in the party's presidential polls against his primary challenger Shashi Tharoor.
"Mallikarjun Kharge is a senior leader of the Congress party. I and Anand Sharma have come to support his nomination here," said Tewari, after reaching the All India Congress Committee (AICC) office in the national capital.
Both Tewari and Tharoor belong to the G-23 grouping of senior leaders within the party. Reports had suggested Tewari was himself thinking of contesting.
"We have come in support of his (Kharge's) nomination. Shashi Tharoor was, is and will be our friend. Those who have spent their entire lives in Congress are here. Digvijaya Singh has shown grace and withdrawn his candidature. It would be good if there is a consensus," Tewari added.
Separately, in a tweet, he said, "Leadership, ideological clarity, narrative & transparent access to resources are pillars of 'A' political party. Given recent unfortunate events, it's time to close ranks & strengthen @INCIndia recalling wise words of @CitiznMukherjee & work for a consensus & effective presidency."
Congress leader Salman Khurshid said, "Shashi Tharoor has tried to strengthen a tradition. Both of them have said that Congress will be strengthened with this (contest)."
Earlier today, Singh dropped out of the Congress presidential race. He too extended his support to Kharge, saying he "cannot think of contesting an election" against a senior leader like Kharge.
Singh is the second Congress leader to pull out of the race after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot amid political turmoil in his state. Gehlot said he would be the proposer for Kharge.
"Our senior leaders have decided on Kharge ji's nomination. I will be a proposer for him," said Gehlot.
Congress MP Deepender S Hooda also welcomed Kharge's nomination.
"I welcome Mallikarjun Kharge's nomination for the Congress president post. (I am) confident he will be elected. Over the years, he has raised the voice of the people in Parliament. I've signed his nomination papers as a proposer," he said. (ANI)