Congress leaders vote to elect new party president2 min read
Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday spoke to media before casting her vote for the party’s presidential election and said, ‘I have been waiting for a long time for this’
The election marks an historic day for India’s oldest political party, as a non-Gandhi chief will be elected after more than 24 years.
In the running for the top job within the party are Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor, both old hands at the grand old party.
While Mr. Kharge has all but been considered as the Gandhi family’s ‘official candidate’ with a large number, Mr. Tharoor is positioning himself as the catalyst for change.
Mr. Kharge, a staunch loyalist, said the party cannot work without the guidance and advice of the Gandhis. The priority is for organizational reforms announced at the Chintan Shivir in Udaipur, according to him, were he elected.
Mr. Tharoor has been alleging in the run-up to the counting that the contest was not a level-playing field in accessing the delegates. Several PCC chiefs and senior leaders were allegedly not available for a meeting with Mr. Tharoor during his visits to their respective states.
Mr. Kharge was on the contrary shown a lot of their support when he visited them.
Voting for the presidential elections ended at 4 pm on Wednesday.
The fate of the Congress party will be decided by over 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates who comprise the electoral college for electing the party chief.
In its nearly 137-year-old history, this is only the sixth time that an electoral contest will decide who becomes the Congress president.
The results are likely to be declared on October 19.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius