Amid suspense over whether Ashok Gehlot would run for Congress presidency, the party's central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry on Tuesday said AICC treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal has got nomination forms collected but they might be for someone else.
Mr. Mistry also said he had no information on whether Mr. Gehlot was going to file his nomination papers and no one had communicated with him over this. The remark comes amid speculation that the Rajasthan Chief Minister may be dropped as a candidate for the Congress president post.
Mr. Bansal, however, later said he was "not in the race for party president's post".
Speaking with reporters in his office at the AICC headquarters here, Mr. Mistry said he met with party chief Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence on Tuesday and handed over her QR-coded identity card for the party president's election.
He also briefed Ms. Gandhi about how many people have collected the nomination forms and about the delegates.
Mr. Mistry said Mr. Bansal got the nomination forms collected from his office on Monday and it may be "as a supporter" of someone.
When pressed further as to whether Mr. Bansal may have collected the forms for himself or someone else, Mr. Mistry said he cannot say for whom he has collected as it is not the procedure to ask for whom forms are being collected as any delegate can collect the forms.
Responding to a query, Mr. Mistry said elections would be held on time as per the schedule.
Mr. MIstry posed with the Congress president poll voter ID cards of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former party chief Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Later in the day, Mr. Mistry delivered Mr. Singh's card at his residence. Priyanka Gandhi's card will be delivered soon and Rahul Gandhi will be handed over his card during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he added.
Shashi Tharoor to file nomination on Friday
Earlier, Mr. Mistry said a representative of senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has informed his office that he would file his nomination papers for the post of party president on September 30 at 11 a.m.
According to a notification issued by the party, the process for filing nominations for the election will be held from September 24 to 30. The date for scrutiny of the nomination papers is October 1, while the last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 8.
The final list of candidates will be published at 5 p.m. on October 8.
The polling, if needed, will be held on October 17. The counting of votes will be taken up on October 19 and the results will be declared the same day.