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Differential treatment to candidates in Congress presidential polls, says Tharoor

Addressing a press conference here, Tharoor said while he is not pointing fingers at Central Election Authority Chairman Madhusudan Mistry, there are flaws in the system.

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New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said there were systematic flaws in the Congress presidential election process, even as he clarified he was not suggesting it was intentional. 

The Thiruvananthapuram MP also indicated a differential treatment between him and Mallikarjun Kharge, who is being seen as the choice for the party leadership. Congress has maintained the party is not backing any candidate officially. 

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Addressing a press conference here, Tharoor said while he is not pointing fingers at Central Election Authority Chairman Madhusudan Mistry, there are flaws in the system.

“I am not saying anything against Mr. Mistry, there are some flaws in the systems which we all know. There have not been elections for 22 years…” said Tharoor. 

He said there were discrepancies in the lists of voters provided. 

“One list was given earlier, another list was given on Wednesday…. Some names were different in the lists, for some names, there was no phone number,” he said.

“I am not saying it’s being done intentionally. There have not been elections in our party for a long time. So there are issues. I know Mr. Mistry and his team are trying to hold free and fair elections. We are not complaining against them but there are problems with the system,” he said. 

“That is why I used open mediums to take my message across. I am not sure I will be able to reach everyone before the 17th.”

He also pointed at differential treatment to candidates. 

“Another issue is what some leaders did, that is why I said there is no level playing field. At a lot of places, big leaders, PCC chiefs welcome Kharge ji, call people for meetings. This happened for only one candidate, not for me,” he said.  

“Many times when I went to some PCC, the PCC chief became busy on the day…I am not complaining, but do you not see a difference in treatment?”

Election will be held on October 17, counting will be held on October 19 and results will be declared.

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