Nepal PM Wins Vote Of Confidence In Parliament | Lokmarg

Nepal PM Wins Vote Of Confidence In Parliament

Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on Tuesday won the vote of confidence in the country’s Parliament.

In a rare case in Nepal’s political history, Prachanda is the first Prime Minister to get 99 percent endorsement.
The voting process for the vote of confidence for the Prime Minister took place in Nepal Parliament today.

Prachanda secured a total of 268 votes from the 275-member lower House of Nepal’s federal parliament. One was eliminated and four were not allowed to participate in the voting process.

In the 275-member House of Representatives, the NC has 89 lawmakers, while the UML has 79 lawmakers. Similarly, CPN (Maoist Center), CPN (Unified Socialist) and Rashtriya Swatantra Party have 32, 10 and 20 members, respectively. Janamat Party has 6 members, Loktantrik Samajbadi Party 4 and Nagarik Unmukti Party 3 members in the parliament.

Prachanda last month broke off a democratic-communist alliance forging another alliance with CPN-UML (Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist Leninist) and five other parties along with 2 other independent lawmakers.

Late on Monday evening, Dahal reached out to the opposition Nepali Congress President and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba seeking support on the vote of confidence.

Notably, Prachanda and Oli have struck an agreement to govern the country on a rotational basis, with Oli agreeing to make Prachanda Prime Minister first as per the latter’s demand. (ANI)

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Words Kharge Used For PM Is Result Of Cong Mentality: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday slammed Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge for his remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during one of his public meetings for Gujarat assembly elections.

Speaking at a press conference in Ahmedabad, Rajnath Singh said, “Congress is using inappropriate words. In a healthy democracy, using inappropriate words against anyone isn’t a sign of healthy politics. Words used by Congress chief Kharge for Prime Minister isn’t only his mentality but the result of the entire Congress’s mentality.”
The Defence Minister added, “Prime Minister is not just an individual but an institution and they are making such statements against the PM”.

Notably, during a poll campaigning for the Party, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge at a rally in the Behrampura area of Ahmedabad described PM Modi as Ravana, wherein he said, “In all these campaigns, he (Modi) only talks about himself. ‘Don’t look at anyone else, just look at Modi and vote’… how many times do we have to see your face? How many forms do you have? Do you have 100 heads like Ravan?”

Earlier also Kharge on Sunday lambasted Prime Minister Modi terming him as a “leader of lies”.

The Congress chief accused the BJP and its top leaders of resorting to prevarications in order to gain the sympathy of the people.

Addressing an election rally in Dediapada in Narmada district, Kharge had said, “They ask us, especially Modiji and Shah (Amit shah) what the Congress has done in 70 years. If we have not done anything in 70 years then you wouldn’t have democracy in the country.

“A person like you (PM Modi) claims to be poor. I am also poor, being one of the untouchables. People drank your tea, nobody would’ve had my tea. Then you say that you are poor and somebody abuses you. If you say it for sympathy then people have become smarter now. If you lie once or twice people will hear but how many times will you lie? He’s the leader of lies…,” he had added.

The Assembly election in Gujarat is scheduled to be held in two phases on December 1 and December 5, whose results will be declared on December 8. (ANI)

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Mallikarjun Kharge To Campaign in Gujarat

AICC Chief Kharge To Campaign In Gujarat For Four Days

With the Gujarat elections round the corner and the first litmus test of Mallikarjun Kharge as Congress president, the grand old party is seeking to boost its poll prospects in the state by addressing about two dozen public meetings.

Mallikarjun Kharge has devised a strategy to take on the Bharatiya Janata party, which has been in power for over two decades, in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress is gearing up by bringing some of its highest-ranked leaders to campaign in the second phase to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The areas which will witness polling in the second phase in Gujarat hold much importance to Congress as Saurashtra and the tribal belts have been strongholds of the party and the top leaders who will be campaigning in the second phase include Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and a host of senior leaders.

Kharge is scheduled to campaign for two days before the first phase of the Gujarat assembly election that will take place on December 1.

Kharge will also campaign for the second phase in Gujarat on December 1 and 2, the sources said on Saturday

The Gujarat assembly polls have been declared to be conducted in two phases on December 1 and 5 before the announcement of results on December 8.

Voting for 89 assembly seats will take place in the first phase, while for the remaining 93 assembly seat voting will be held in the second phase of polling.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is also expected to join and campaign for the party in Gujarat in the second phase of polling.

“His (Rahul Gandhi) tour will however depend on a break in ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’,” they said.

It is pertinent to mention that even after the Congress has got a non-Gandhi president after 24 years in Mallikarjun Kharge and the leader, has plunged in the election campaign in poll-bound states, the dominance of the Gandhi family is visible even after a month of the change of top leader at the AICC.

Kharge’s picture is still missing from the official hoarding board of the Congress headquarters and it is yet to find a place in the rooms of the party’s key office-bearers.

This was not the case when Sonia Gandhi took the leadership role and when Rahul Gandhi became general secretary and later party chief.

Soon after he became president, Kharge started meeting leaders and workers by giving appointments at his home. He also plunged into the electoral campaign for Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat elections.

He has started meeting workers at Congress headquarters between 11 am and 1 pm without an appointment. After Rahul Gandhi resigned as party chief in 2019, this process of meetings came to a virtual standstill, party leaders said.

“Soniaji and Rahulji also used to meet but it all stopped due to the coronavirus. It has started again and people can meet without any prior appointment,” Naseer Hussain, Congress MP, and coordinator attached to Kharge told ANI on November 22.

Kharge has fully taken over but the Congress apparatus is apparently slow to react.

When Sonia became president, her photo was placed on the official board of the party headquarters at 24 Akbar Road in Delhi.

Photos of Sonia along with that of other veteran leaders were put up in the room of every Congress office-bearer at Congress headquarters.

Rahul Gandhi’s photo also made it to the rooms of AICC office-bearers soon after he was appointed general secretary.

His photo was all over the AICC after he became the party chief in 2017 and photos of other members of the Gandhi-Nehru family who have held party posts also adorned the walls.

In fact, Rahul Gandhi’s picture was replaced by that of Sonia on the official board of the party within 24 hours when she became the interim president in 2019. Photos of the two leaders were already in AICC rooms.

Nasir Hussain sought to play down the delay in putting up of Kharge’s photo.

“I have not seen where the picture has not been put up, it has been used in the posters for publicity and manifestos. Rest of the places it will also be put up soon,” he said.

The situation is likely to give ammunition to the BJP to continue attacking the Congress on “family rule”.

Though the Gandhi family has followed the protocol and has extended due courtesies to Kharge, the “Congress system” appears slow to react giving rise to various questions. (ANI)

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Rahul Gandhi said BJP Should Apologise

BJP Should Apologise For Using Vanvasi Term: RaGa

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) should apologise for using the word “Vanvasi” (forest dweller).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi used a new word in his speech and he called Adivasis as “Vanvasis”.
Gandhi made an announcement that if Congress comes back to power in Madhya Pradesh, the word ‘Vanvasi’ would be abolished and the tribals would be given their rights.

He made the remark while addressing the public gathering during Bharat Jodo Yatra at Tantya Mama’s birthplace, Baroda Ahir village in the Khandwa district. He also garlanded the Tantya Mama’s statue.

He said, “Vanvasi means the tribal is not the first owner of the country. They are the only owner of the forest. They don’t have rights outside the forest. The forests are slowly being cut down and then they will be thrown out of the forest.”

“In MP, most of the atrocities would have been on tribal. Adivasi means first in India. When no one lived in this country then Adivasi used to live here. Tribal is the real owner of this country. They have the first right to land, water, and forest. Their children should get rights. If their child wants to become an engineer or doctor, the government should help them,” the Congress leader added.

“Thinking about Tantya Mama’s name, the first word that comes to mind is revolutionary fearless. But when Tantya Mama was hanged by the British, the RSS was helping the British government,” Gandhi alleged. (ANI)

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Kharge Announced To Implement Udaipur Declaration: Sachin Pilot

With Mallikarjun Kharge taking over at the helm of affairs in Congress, Sachin Pilot on Wednesday said that 50 percent of party posts would be given to party workers below 50 years of age as per Udaipur Declaration.

Sachin also reiterated that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi will always remain the leaders of the party.
Pilot, who arrived in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida earlier today, said that a message has been sent to the other parties through the election of Kharge as party president that Congress is capable of conducting free and fair elections.

“Mallikarjun Kharge has taken charge as the president of the party. It is a good sign for democracy that such a big election concluded successfully in such a large party. Congress has the ability to conduct fair elections with utmost transparency. Kharge has vast experience,” he said while speaking to the reporters.

“He has always worked as a worker of the Congress party. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were and will always be leaders of our party, but we will fight all the challenges in front of us. We’ll start working for the upcoming elections,” he said while mentioning about the challenges in two states- Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh within this year, and then the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls.

“A message has been sent from Delhi that Congress has done something which no other party has done. Nobody knows how the BJP president is elected,” Pilot added.

Mentioning the Udaipur declaration that was adopted in May earlier this year in the three-day Chintan Shivir, Pilot said that Kharge would implement the declaration.

“The party has adopted the Udaipur declaration. Kharge Ji had announced to implement this as soon as he got elected. The party had passed a declaration with a consensus to give opportunities to the youth. The party will give 50 percent of the posts at all levels to those workers of the party who are below 50 years of age,” he said.

Soon after taking over the reins of Congress, Kharge said, “We decided at the Udaipur ‘Chintan Shivir’ to reserve 50 percent of the party posts for those below 50 years of age. We will move forward with that, with support from all of you.”

“We will defeat those who spread hatred,” he said, naming the ruling BJP and its parent body RSS as “those who want to divide India”.

Earlier today, Kharge, who succeeds Sonia Gandhi, said it was a matter of pride to carry forward the legacy of Congress.

“It’s an emotional moment for me. I want to thank Congress people for making a worker’s son, an ordinary worker, the president of Congress. It is a matter of pride to carry forward the legacy of the Congress,” he said.

The 80-year-old Congress veteran said that it was a matter of privilege and pride for him to handle the responsibility as a party that was led by leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Subhash Chandra Bose.

“As president, it will be my utmost duty to look after our workers. Together, we will build an India that will be enlightened, empowered, and equal for every citizen. We will uphold the Constitution of this country, respect everyone’s rights and give equal opportunities, defeat those who spread hate, and fight inflation, unemployment, and hunger,” he said. (ANI)

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New Congress Chief

Kharge Is New Congress Chief; Revival Begins, Says, Tharoor

Veteran politician Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday swept the party’s presidential polls paving the way for him to become the first non-Gandhi chief of Congress party in over two decades.

Chairman of the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC) Madhusudan Mistry today declared Mallikarjun Kharge as the elected President of the party.
“The total counted votes were 9,385, of which Mallikarjun Kharge received 7,897 votes and Shashi Tharoor received 1,072 votes. 416 were invalid votes. As per Article 18 (D) of the Constitution of Indian National, I hereby declare Mallikarjun Kharge as the elected President of Congress,” said Mistry.

Kharge’s opponent conceded defeat and went to the New Delhi residence of the Congress President-elect to congratulate him on his victory.

Tharoor said he believed “the revival of the party begins today”. “It is a great honor and a huge responsibility to be President of the INC and I wish Kharge Ji all success in the task,” the MP from Thiruvananthapuram tweeted.

Before the results were announced, party leader Rahul Gandhi during a press conference apparently jumped the gun and referred to Kharge as the party president.

“I can’t comment on Congress President’s role, that’s for Mr. Kharge (party’s Presidential candidate) to comment on. The President will decide what my role is…and where I will be deployed ask Kharge ji, Sonia ji,” said the Congress MP in Kurnool amid the Andhra Pradesh leg of Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Meanwhile, other leaders of the party congratulated Kharge on his victory.

Party leader Jairam Ramesh said that Kharge’s victory is a triumph for the forces who place ideological commitment over personal glory.

“Mallikarjun Kharge has completed 50 years in electoral politics. He has distinguished himself as a legislator and Minister in the state and at the Centre. He is a shining symbol of social empowerment inspired by Nehru, Ambedkar, Indira Gandhi, and Devaraj Urs,” Ramesh said in a tweet.

He further said that Kharge has always avoided flamboyance and has been the quintessential organization man working in a self-effacing manner to advance the collective interests of the Congress party.

He has the good wishes of all Congressmen and Congresswomen, he added.

Rajasthan Cong leader Sachin Pilot greeted Kharge and said that he has faith that the latter’s experience will benefit the party

“Mallikarjun Kharge won with a huge majority; a win of democracy. I congratulated him. I’ve faith his experience will benefit the party…9000 elected people elected the President, this was never done before by any party. Opposition must be nervous today,” said Pilot.

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said that Kharge has won with eight times more votes than Tharoor.

“Mallikarjun Kharge wins the Congress presidential elections with 7897 votes, Shashi Tharoor got about 1000 votes. Kharge has won with 8 times more votes,” said Tiwari.

For the first time in 24 years, the party has got a chief who does not belong to the Nehru-Gandhi family.

The new president will take place of Sonia Gandhi who has been serving as interim president after Rahul Gandhi stepped down from the post following the party’s debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress sources also said the elected president will take charge after Diwali in the presence of senior leaders in a program at the Congress headquarters.

Meanwhile, ahead of the declaration of results for the party’s top post, the Shashi Tharoor camp approached the party’s election authority alleging that it suspected “extremely serious irregularities” in Uttar Pradesh on the day of the polling and demanded that all votes from the state be deemed invalid.

In a letter to Congress Central Authority Chairman Madhusudan Mistry, Salman Soz the election agent to Tharoor wrote about “disturbing facts” including “reports of minor violations” guidelines in a few states including Uttar Pradesh during the polling on Monday.

The ex-Member of Parliament (MP) Salman Anees Soz in his letter underlined that they had no evidence that Mallikarjun Kharge was aware of how his supporters were engaging in electoral malpractice in Uttar Pradesh.

Incidentally, Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates. (ANI)

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First Non-Gandhi Prez

Cong To Get First Non-Gandhi Prez In 24 Yrs, Counting Began At 10 am

The Congress is set to get a new president on Wednesday with the counting to take place from 10 am.

Former Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor are in the fray and it will be for the first time in 24 years that the party will get a party chief who does not belong to the Nehru-Gandhi family.
The new president will take the place of Sonia Gandhi who had been serving as interim president after Rahul Gandhi stepped down from the post following the party’s debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The result is likely to be declared between 3 pm to 4 pm. The ballot boxes from the state headquarters have reached the counting place in the Congress office.

Mallikarjun Kharge is seen as the favorite to win the contest. Five agents from each side will oversee the counting while two agents from both sides will be kept in reserve, sources said.

The Chairman of the Central Election Authority will announce the result after counting. More than 9,500 delegates cast their votes in the presidential election which took place at the culmination of the party’s organizational polls.

Sources said seven-eight tables will be set up for counting of votes and each table will have two persons.

Congress sources said the elected president will take charge after Diwali in the presence of senior leaders in a program at the Congress headquarters.

It has not been decided whether the certificate will be given to the winner on Wednesday or later.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who was earlier the frontrunner for the post, will be in Delhi tomorrow. Rahul Gandhi will continue on the Bharat Jodo Yatra. (ANI)

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CBI Seized Computer To Implant Files In CPU: Sisodia

Sisodia Leaves CBI HQ After 9 Hrs, Claims Was Asked To Quit AAP

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia left the CBI headquarters in the national capital on Monday after nine hours of questioning in the excise policy case.

He was summoned by the Central agency following which the Aam Aadmi Party took out a rally in support of Manish Sisodia on the way to CBI headquarters earlier today.
Speaking to the media at his residence, Sisodia alleged that the case against him was intended not to probe any scam but to “make Operation Lotus successful in Delhi”.

“Today I saw in the CBI office that there’s no issue of any scam (excise policy case). The whole case is fake. I understood all that in the 9 hour-questioning today. The case isn’t to probe any scam against me, but to make Operation Lotus successful in Delhi,” he alleged.

Sisodia further claimed that he was asked inside the CBI office to leave AAP and said that he was offered to be made the Chief Minister.

“I was asked inside the CBI office to leave (AAP), or else such cases will keep getting registered against me. I was told ‘Satyendar Jain ke upar konse sachhe cases hain?’…I said I won’t leave AAP for BJP. They said they’ll make me CM,” he alleged.

According to a CBI official, the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister has not been summoned tomorrow, however, he could be summoned again later.

“CBI will evaluate the answers given by (Delhi Dy CM) Manish Sisodia and if needed, he will be summoned again later. No summons to Sisodia for tomorrow,” a CBI official said.

Sisodia had arrived for questioning earlier today amid the allegations by the party of his possible arrest in the case.

Addressing the workers of the party before going to the agency headquarter, Sisodia had called upon AAP workers to “feel proud if he is sent to jail”.

“They are preparing to send me to jail. CBI raided my residence but nothing was found. Don’t feel sorry if I am sent to jail, feel proud,” he said.

Earlier today, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal linked Sisodia’s summons to the Gujarat Assembly elections later this year and alleged that his Deputy Chief Minister would be arrested.

“Nothing was found in Manish’s house raid, nothing was found in the bank locker. The case against them is completely false. He had to go to Gujarat for the election campaign. Arresting him to stop him from going. But the election campaign will not stop. Every person in Gujarat is promoting AAP today,” Kejriwal tweeted this morning.

On Sunday, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj claimed that Sisodia “will be arrested”.

He also tried to draw parallels between the CBI summoning Sisodia with the upcoming Gujarat election. “CBI has summoned Manish Sisodia and will arrest him tomorrow. It has been alleged that a huge scam of Rs 10,000 crore has taken place and for that CBI and ED (Enforcement Directorate) have raided at at least 500 places so far. CBI raided Sisodia’s residence for 14 hours, but they could not find anything,” said AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj.

“This is directly linked with Gujarat elections as AAP competes with the BJP there and hence is scared. Manish Sisodia will be arrested to stop his programmes but the AAP will only grow stronger,” he added.

Meanwhile, BJP lashed out at the AAP for the show of strength in the rally and called it a “celebration of corruption”.

“When Rahul Gandhi was summoned by ED, then also Congress started doing drama like this. It will not be an exaggeration to say that it is a celebration of corruption. First, they did corruption while giving liquor licences in Delhi and now they are doing all this drama,” Patra said.

“The way Manish Sisodia was raising slogans in an open car on the streets along with his supporters today, it seems as if Aam Aadmi Party has won the World Cup of corruption. Arvind Kejriwal was a part of Anna Hazare’s Andolan and used to say that he will finish corruption, but now it seems AAP has itself become the most corrupt party in the country,” Patra further said. (ANI)

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Not Prepared For The Role of Kerala CM, says Shashi Tharoor

Revival Of Cong Has Begun: Tharoor; Kharge: Together We Will Build Party

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who is pitted against party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge for the post of the Congress president on Monday, said the revival of the grand old party has begun whatever the outcome and that the fate of the Indian National Congress lies in the hands of the party workers.

Voting for the Congress presidential polls commenced at 10 am today and will culminate at 4 pm. Results will be declared on October 19. 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.
Tharoor said that he was confident of winning the election but acknowledged the odds stacked against him

“I am confident. The fate of the Congress party is in the hands of party workers. The odds have been stacked against us as the party leaders and establishment were overwhelming with the other candidate,” Tharoor told media persons at Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram today.

Tharoor also said he had spoken to Kharge earlier in the day

“Today I spoke to Mr. Kharge and said whatever has happened, we remain colleagues and friends,” Tharoor said.

Kharge also told ANI today: “It is part of our internal election. Whatever we said to each other is on a friendly note. Together we have to build the party. (Shashi) Tharoor telephoned me and wished me luck and I also said the same.”

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary in charge of communications Jairam Ramesh said that Congress was the only political party to hold elections for its president.

“This is a historic day. Rahul Gandhi will cast his vote in Ballari during Bharat Jodo Yatra. Party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi is expected to cast her vote around 11 am,” he told ANI.

Tharoor took to Twitter and said that they shared “devotion to the success of the Congress”.

Previously, Tharoor had said that if one just “plays safe”, they lose.

He tweeted, “Some people play safe in order not to lose. But if you just play safe, you will definitely lose.”

On Thursday, Tharoor alleged that he has been facing differential treatment from the party leaders as against his opponent Mallikarjun Kharge.

In the previous week, Tharoor had said he could act as a catalyst of change for the grand old party in order to revive the party’s presence in the country.

Meanwhile, Congress veteran leader and party’s presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge had said that his name was not suggested by the party supremo Sonia Gandhi and dismissed the speculations of receiving support from the party’s interim president.

Kharge said that Sonia Gandhi had never suggested his name for the party president position and called it a rumor.

Kharge further said that members of the party have elected delegates which are 9,300 in number, who will vote for the candidate and the one with the majority would be elected.

With the party, all set to elect its new president, the 75 delegates, including interim chief Sonia Gandhi, General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and other members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and senior leaders will cast their vote in the headquarters of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in New Delhi.

Apart from these, 280 other delegates will also cast their vote in the Delhi Congress office, the sources added.

The delegates who obtained prior permission from the Central Election Authority to cast their vote will vote in Delhi instead of their own state today.

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 the president about 22 years ago against Sonia Gandhi in which she 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 are being conducted to elect the national president of the party. In the 2017 elections, Rahul Gandhi became the president unopposed. (ANI)

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Rahul Casts Vote

Rahul Casts Vote To Elect Next Cong President

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi cast his vote to elect the new Congress president at the campsite of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Karnataka’s Ballari on Monday.

The 3,500-km yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir is observing a “rest day” on the 40th day of the march in Sanganakallu since its commencement on September 7.
Rahul Gandhi voted at the campsite, which was the meeting room container eventually converted into a polling booth for the elections.

As per the information from Congress’ Twitter, the Wayanad MP along with the 40 other Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates has been scheduled to cast their vote at the specialized booth amid the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Earlier in the day, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi, party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cast their vote for the next president of the Congress party at the All India Congress Committee headquarters in the national capital.

Voting for the party’s presidential polls commenced at 10 am today and will culminate at 4 pm. Results will be declared on October 19. 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.

Congress MPs P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, and other party leaders have also cast their votes at the AICC office in Delhi.

In the race for the next president of Congress, party leaders Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge are in direct contest with each other.

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who is pitted against party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge for the post of the Congress president on Monday, said the revival of the party has begun whatever the outcome and that the fate of the Congress lies in the hands of the party workers.

Tharoor said he was confident of winning the election but acknowledged the odds against him.

He also said he had spoken to Kharge earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, Kharge also told ANI: “It is part of our internal election. Whatever we said to each other is on a friendly note. Together we have to build the party. (Shashi) Tharoor telephoned me and wished me luck and I also said the same.”

As per the sources, 280 other delegates are also scheduled to cast their vote in the Delhi Congress office.

The delegates who had obtained prior permission from the Central Election Authority to cast their votes will vote in Delhi instead of their own states today.

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

Sonia Gandhi is the party’s longest-serving president, having held the office for over 20 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 history that polls are being conducted to elect the national president of the party. In the 2017 elections, Rahul Gandhi became the president unopposed. (ANI)

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