Congress Party to vote for new president today, Tharoor and Kharge in fray


About 9,300 Congress delegates will vote on Monday, October 17 to elect a new party President between the two contenders in the fray — Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor.

Voting will be conducted across all state and union territory offices from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m IST. Sixty-seven booths have been set up, according to the party’s Central Election Authority (CEA). The results will be declared on October 19.

Once the voting process ends, all the ballet boxes will be brought to the AICC headquarters in New Delhi.

Results will be declared as soon as counting of the votes end on Wednesday.

Rahul Gandhi, who is on his Bharat Jodo Yatra, will vote at a campsite in Karnataka’s Ballari, while outgoing interim president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will cast their ballots at the party headquarters.

CEA Chairman Madhusudan Mistry, said: “In AICC also there will be a booth, especially for all the senior leaders, working committee members and all those whose identity card is from a different state but are staying in Delhi. If they write to us that they want to vote in Delhi then we will make arrangements here as well, they can also vote here in AICC.”

He also assured the voters of the secrecy of the ballot.

“Ballot boxes will reach Delhi on Oct 18 and counting of votes will be done on October 19,” Mistry said. “Polling booth set up at AICC as well, where over 50 people will vote. The whole polling process will be fair & free, no doubt about that,’ he added.

It is not the first time that a non-Gandhi leader is contesting for the party presidency post-Independence, Jitendra Prasad contested for the post of President 22 years ago against Sonia Gandhi in which Sonia emerged as a winner holding the mantle of the party for 20 years.

Sonia Gandhi is the longest-serving president of the party, having held the office for over twenty years from 1998 to 2017 and since 2019.

This time no member of the Gandhi family is contesting for the post of President.

This is the sixth time in its nearly 137-year-old history that polls will be held to elect the President of the party. In the 2017 elections, Rahul Gandhi became the president unopposed.

“There’s no problem with our ideology, but I want to bring a change in our way of work… Mallikarjun Kharge is an experienced leader, if he wins, we’ll work in cooperation naturally,” Congress Presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor said ahead of the polls tomorrow.

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