Not Just Kharge vs Tharoor: Ex-Jharkhand Minister KN Tripathi too is Contesting for Congress Top Post

No, the Congress presidential race is not just a Shashi Tharoor versus Mallikarjun Kharge fight.

Just like former Union minister Tharoor and Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Kharge, a little-known former state minister from Jharkhand, KN Tripathi, too, filed his nomination for the post of All India Congress Committee (AICC) national president with Madhusudan Mistry, chairman of the Congress central election authority, on Friday.

After filing his nomination, KN Tripathi spoke exclusively to CNN-News18, “I have filed my nomination for the post of the party president today. Let the scrutiny be done and next decision will be taken thereafter.”

Tripathi said that everybody wanted Rahul Gandhi to be the party chief, but he was firm on his decision of not filing his nomination. “I saw many leaders buying the nomination papers, so I also decided to fill my nomination form. We were the first to file it.”

When asked if not him, between Tharoor and Kharge, who was fit for the post, Tripathi said, “I must not think about anyone else, but the Congress high command. I will respect whatever decision the party takes. Our leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have said every Congress worker can contest for this top post. They have sacrificed the posts of Prime Minister and party president.”

He went on to further say: “I belong to a farmer’s family. The country is seeing that a farmer’s son, who has the experience of serving the Indian Air Force and was a minister in the state government and elected as deputy leader of Jharkhand Legislative Assembly, can also contest for the post of AICC president.”

Tripathi said during his tenure as a cabinet minister in Jharkhand, all programmes were implemented efficiently. “We empowered the Panchayati Raj in Jharkhand and I got a lot of powers to the cabinet. I also brought in the Saraswati Yojna, which benefitted girls in the state. We are all together and will work together.”

As the nomination process got over, Mistry said, “A total of 14 forms have been submitted by Mallikarjun Kharge, five by Shashi Tharoor and one by KN Tripathi. We will scrutinise the forms on Saturday and by evening, we will announce the names of the candidates along with the valid forms.”


KN Tripathi is a resident of Redma Kashi Nagar locality of Daltonganj. He was born on April 3, 1972 in Tolra village of his maternal grandmother, Bishrampur. He passed his elementary education from Dasmesh Model School and Zilla School in Daltonganj.

He did his intermediate and graduation from Daltonganj’s GLA College. He later joined the IAF. After a posting in Bangalore and Suratgarh, he left the job and got into politics.

Tripathi contested the Assembly elections from Daltonganj constituency in Jharkhand on a Congress ticket in 2005, but lost.

After winning the elections from Daltonganj in 2009, he became the Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Labour Department. He lost again in 2014 to JVM’s Alok Chaurasia by a margin of 5,000 votes.

KN Tripathi has served as the National President of the Congress-affiliated Indian National Trade Union Congress.

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