New Delhi: Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor's team has taken up with the party's central election authority chairman the issue of a directive asking PCC delegates to mark "1" against the name of their choice on the ballot paper that has Mallikarjun Kharge on serial number '1' and Tharoor on '2', sources said on Sunday.
After Tharoor's team flagged this issue, Mistry is said to have conveyed to them that now a tick would be accepted against the name of the preferred candidate instead of '1', the sources said.
In instructions for polling issued on Saturday, Mistry had said PCC Members "will mark '1' on the ballot paper against the name of the candidate and fold the ballot paper to put it into the ballot box".
Tharoor's team had raised the matter with Mistry, stating that this may confuse the voters as Kharge is on serial number 1 and Tharoor on serial number 2 on the ballot paper and writing '1' in front of the name of the preferred candidate would put Tharoor at a "disadvantage", the sources said.
Mistry cited the party's constitution for writing '1' before the preferred choice. Tharoor's team, however, pointed out that it was only meant for cases when there are two or more candidates and preferences have to be made.
Finally, Mistry on Sunday afternoon conveyed to Tharoor's team that a tick would have to be made instead of '1' to reflect the preferred choice, the sources said.
The voters are instructed to put a tick mark in the box in front of the candidate whom they wish to vote for and putting any other symbol or writing a number would make the vote invalid, the message being sent to the delegates from Misty's office says.
Tharoor's team has repeatedly flagged an uneven playing field and violation of directives by the party's central election authority.
They have also raised the issue of office bearers openly expressing support for Kharge, the latest being Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Mistry last week said that the Congress presidential polls will be held by a secret ballot and no one will get to know who voted for whom. He had asserted that a level-playing field had been ensured for both candidates.
Polling for the party president's election will be held on Monday and counting will be taken up on Wednesday.