Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge won the political party’s polls for the position of President on Wednesday. With this result, he becomes the first non-Gandhi president of Congress in over two decades. Kharge received 7897 of the total 9385 votes, while his opponent, Shashi Tharoor bagged only 1072 votes. Kharge will now replace Sonia Gandhi at the helm of the party. She was in charge of the position after Rahul Gandhi stepped down following the defeat of the party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Many consider the winner Mallikarjun Kharge to be the unofficial official candidate of the Gandhi family who is the flag bearer of the political party. He had the support and backing of a huge number of senior leaders. While the other contestant, Shashi Tharoor pitched himself as the candidate for change and regeneration of the party.
This is the sixth time in its nearly 137-year-old history that the president of Congress has been decided by an election. This high-stakes election between the two veteran congress leaders on two ends of the scale led to a huge turnout in the voting. Held on Monday, 96% of Pradesh Congress Committee delegates cast their ballot. Out of 9,915 PCC delegates, 9,497 cast their votes across the capitals of the states. These include 87 at the AICC headquarters and 50 at the Yatra campsite, said Madhusudan Mistry, Head of the party’s Central Election Authority.
Shashi Tharoor congratulated Mallikarjun Kharge on his victory and mentioned that he believed “the revival of the party begins today”. “It is a great honour and a huge responsibility to be President of the INC and I wish Kharge ji all success in the task,” Tharoor tweeted after the results were declared.
Representatives of the Tharoor camp had earlier complained about discrepancies in the polling process in three states. Polling boxes from some states including Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest number of PCC voters, were not sealed as per the guidelines, they alleged.
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