Ajay Maken Rajasthan

Rajasthan: Maken’s Unwillingness To Continue As Incharge Of State

The crisis that began in the Rajasthan Congress on September 25 this year has taken a new turn. Now the annoyed general secretary in charge of the state Ajay Maken has expressed his unwillingness to continue in his post.

In a letter to party president Mallikarjun Kharge, Ajay Maken stated that he does not want to continue in his post after the events of September 25.
In his letter dated November 8, Maken said that a new person should be given the responsibility before the Bharat Jodo Yatra enters the state and state assembly by-elections are held.

“I am a soldier of Rahul Gandhi. My family has decades of association with the party,” he wrote.

On September 25, on the instructions of the then President Sonia Gandhi, Maken and Kharge went to Jaipur as observers. Then there was a buzz of Ashok Gehlot contesting the election of the Congress President. So, a meeting of the Legislature Party was to be held for the selection of the new Chief Minister, but a rebellious tone was adopted by the Gehlot supporters who opposed the candidature of Sachin Pilot. The meeting could not take place. The high command was miffed with the development in the crisis-hit state.

After this, show-cause notices were issued to three leaders. But even after a long time, no action was taken. Even after Gehlot apologized to Sonia Gandhi, organization general secretary KC Venugopal had said that a decision on Rajasthan Congress will be taken in the next two days. Still, the meeting of the Legislature Party could not be held again.

According to sources, miffed with all the developments, Maken decided to quit the post.

According to sources, the high command is unhappy with the behaviour of Gehlot’s supporters, but Gehlot is currently the chief observer of the Gujarat elections. At the same time, he does not want to pose a risk to the Rajasthan government at this time.

In such a situation, the ball is in the court of the same Kharge who himself is the witness to the whole incident.

It is believed that the Rajasthan crisis will be the first major test of Kharge’s organizational skills. Now they have to decide how to persuade Gehlot to hand over the command to Sachin or maintain Gehlot by taking care of Sachin. On the other hand, he also faces the challenge of solving the case of ‘indiscipline’ that took place on September 25.

To add to Kharge’s troubles, Gehlot’s grip on the MLAs in Rajasthan has also been reported by party sources to Kharge that, in the recent assembly elections, Sachin Pilot is the most in-demand leader after the Gandhi family. He is also engaged in campaigning in all the states. Along with this, he is also going to meet Rahul once again by joining the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra in Maharashtra. (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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Kharge Officially Takes Charge As Cong Prez

Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday officially took charge as the party president at the All India Congress Committee headquarters in the national capital.

Congress Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry handed over the certificate of election to the top post.
“I hope other parties draw a lesson from the Congress and hold polls for the presidency by secret ballot,” said Mistry.

Former party president Sonia Gandhi, MP Rahul Gandhi, and the party’s General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with other senior leaders and MPs were present at the occasion.

Ahead of the event at the Congress headquarters today, Kharge met former prime minister Manmohan Singh at his home yesterday. This morning, he paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial, Rajghat. He also visited memorials of former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi, besides former deputy PM Jagjivan Ram.

Kharge, who was elected the first Congress chief outside the Nehru-Gandhi family in 24 years, has his task cut out as the party faces several electoral and organizational challenges.

A man of vast organizational and administrative experience, Kharge entered the electoral fray for the party’s top post after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot opted against contesting.

Kharge, 80, was seen as the “establishment’s candidate” against Shashi Tharoor and polled 7,897 votes against 1072 received by his rival.

A leader who has risen from the grassroots, Kharge belongs to the Dalit community and will be the second leader from Karnataka to hold the top party post after S Nijalingappa became the Congress president in 1968.

In over five decades of experience in active politics, Kharge has been a union minister, and Congress leader in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and has held several portfolios in Karnataka where he was MLA nine times.

A combative, articulate, and accessible politician who is comfortable both in Hindi and English, Kharge has been a strong critic of the BJP-led government.

He faces major challenges to work out strategies in terms of Congress revival in the Hindi heartland states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as also in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. The Congress has seen an erosion in its base in some other states including in the northeast. AAP is also seeking to emerge as a challenger in some states.

While Kharge’s immediate challenges are the assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat which will go the polls later this year, several other states including his home state Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan will go the polls next year before the crucial battle in the 2024 general election.

Many senior party leaders have left Congress in recent months and years and the Congress debacle in Punjab and Uttarakhand assembly polls earlier this year has been blamed on the choices party leadership made in these states.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is on Bharat Jodo Yatra, indicated that Kharge will decide his role.

Kharge will take over as party chief from Sonia Gandhi, who was serving as interim chief after Rahul Gandhi stepped down following the party’s debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Sonia Gandhi had earlier steered the party for 19 years and played a pivotal role in the formation of two UPA governments.

A former union minister of Labour and Railways, Kharge resigned as Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha to contest the presidential polls in accordance with the one person, one post norm.

Born on July 21, 1942, Kharge was active in student politics and was general secretary 1964-65 of the Students Union in Government Arts and Science College in Gulbarga.

He was vice president of the Students Union Law College, Gulbarga, in 1966-67 and became president of the Gulbarga City Congress Committee in 1969.

Kharge served as MLA in Karnataka nine times between 1972 and 2009 and held several portfolios as minister including education, revenue, rural development, and large and medium industry, transport, and water resources.

He was president of the Karnataka Congress from 2005 to 2008 and also served as Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly from 1996-99 and from 2008-09.

He was elected to Lok Sabha in 2009 and 2014 and elected to Rajya Sabha in 2020. As Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, he raised various issues vociferously.

Kharge was seen as a top contender for the CM post in Karnataka several times but never got the role. Kharge did not protest and continued to work as a disciplined party worker.

Congress leaders said Kharge will be the second Dalit president in the party’s long history.

Kharge is credited with several initiatives in his ministerial tenures. As Union Minister, he revamped the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, extended insurance and benefits for workers in both organized and unorganized sectors, and ESIC hospitals throughout the country were modernized.

As Railway Minister, he gave emphasis on funding projects in the northeastern states in the railway budget and initiated reforms such as the creation of the Rail Tariff Regulatory Authority.

With Kharge’s election as the new party chief, the Congress will seek to blunt the BJP’s attack on it over “family-oriented politics”. (ANI)

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Kharge Cong Prez

Kharge To Take Charge As Cong Prez On Oct 26

The Newly elected President of the Indian National Congress Mallikarjun Kharge will take charge of the post on October 26 at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters. All Congress Working Committee members, MPs, Pradesh Congress Committee presidents, CLP leaders, former CMs, former State presidents, and other AICC office bearers are invited to the program.

The invitation has been sent to all the above stakeholders by the General Secretary organization KC Venugopal
Congress is expected to resolve the Rajasthan Congress crisis soon after Kharge assumes his position, added the sources.

Also, Kharge will visit poll-bound states like Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat soon.

At the same time, after October 30, Congress will show its strength in Himachal and Gujarat elections. Between October 31 and November 10, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will hold four rallies and four road shows in Himachal. October 31 was specially chosen by Priyanka because former prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated on this day.

Priyanka has said that, had Indira Gandhi not been murdered, her wish would have been to build a house in Himachal after retirement.

Vadra will hold rallies and roadshows in Mandi and Kullu on October 31; Kangra and Chamba on November 3; Hamirpur and Una on November 7 and Shimla and Sirmona on November 10.

On the other hand, on the day of the break of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul Gandhi will step out of the place of the Yatra for the first time and address a big rally in Himachal in the first week of November to boost the party’s campaign.

Similarly, in Gujarat, after October 30, the programs of Priyanka and Rahul are being finalized. Rahul may not have gone to Delhi or elsewhere after taking a break from the Bharat Jodo Yatra but will go to campaign in the election states. In Gujarat, preparations are being made to organize road shows, rallies, and conferences like Mahila-Farmer-Dalit of both leaders.

That is, the Congress, which seems to be lagging behind in the campaign of the central leadership of BJP and AAP in Himachal and especially in Gujarat, is preparing to try hard in the election season of both states as soon as the festive week of Diwali ends. (ANI)

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kharge on Rahul's Leadership

Cong Is An Example Of Democracy: Kharge After Win

Mallikarjun Kharge, who was elected new Congress president on Wednesday, said that the party has presented an “example of strengthening the country’s democracy by conducting organizational elections” at a time when “democracy is in danger” in the country.

Kharge got 7,897 votes in the presidential contest and his opponent Shashi Tharoor received 1,072 votes in the voting held on October 17.
Addressing the media after his victory, Kharge said Congress has “continuously strengthened democracy” in the 75-year history of the country and protected the Constitution.

“Now when democracy is in danger and Constitution is being attacked, and every institution is being broken, Congress has presented an example of strengthening the country’s democracy by conducting organizational elections at the national level. I thank everyone connected with the election,” he said.

He also congratulated Tharoor and said that they discussed methods to take the party forward. Tharoor had visited Kharge’s residence to congratulate him on his victory.

“I want to congratulate my partner Shashi Tharoor as well. We were contesting the election as representatives. He met me and we discussed how to take the party forward,” Kharge said.

The Congress president-elect expressed his gratitude to outgoing party chief Sonia Gandhi and said that she made “personal sacrifices” for a number of years to serve the party. He also hailed her leadership stating that the Congress-led coalition came to power at the Centre twice while she was party chief.

“I want to thank Sonia Gandhi on behalf of all party workers. She has made personal sacrifices and served the party for 25 years with hard sweat and blood. Under her leadership, we formed our government at the Centre twice. Her tenure (as party president) will be remembered in history,” he said.

Kharge appealed to people to join former party president Rahul Gandhi in Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“The biggest problem in the country is inflation and unemployment, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening and hatred is being spread by the government. Rahul Gandhi has undertaken the 3,570 km-long yatra to create a mass movement against these problems. The entire country is connecting with his struggle. I appeal to the people of the country to join the Bharat Jodo Yatra with Rahul Gandhi for the country’s welfare,” he said.

“We all have to work like workers of the party, nobody is big or small in the party. We have to unitedly fight against the fascist forces that are attacking the democratic institutions under the garb of communalism,” Kharge added.

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala, who was present at the press conference, said that Kharge will take charge on October 26.

Earlier today, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on reached Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence and congratulated him on being elected as the new party president.

Rahul Gandhi also extended wishes to Kharge and said that the post he has been elected to “represents a democratic vision of India”.

Gandhi said that Kharge’s vast experience will serve the party well.

“Congratulations to Mallikarjun Khargeji on being elected as the President of @INCIndia. The Congress President represents a democratic vision of India. His vast experience and ideological commitment will serve the party well as he takes on this historic responsibility,” Gandhi tweeted.

Chairman of Congress Central Election Committee (CEC) Madhusudan Mistry declared that Kharge has been elected the new president of the party.

“The total counted votes was 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,” Mistry 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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Bharat Jodo Yatra: MP Francisco

Want Rahul To stop Bharat Jodo Yatra: MP Francisco

Congress MP Francisco Sardinha on Monday claimed that the Congress is the “only party” that can defeat the BJP and hence Rahul Gandhi should now stop the Bharat Jodo Yatra and go to Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat to campaign for the Assembly polls.

“I want Rahul Gandhi to stop the Bharat Jodo Yatra and go to Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat to awaken the public so that they vote for the only party that can defeat BJP. The only party that can be an opposition to BJP is Congress,” said Congress MP Francisco Sardinha after casting his vote for the next president of Congress.
The Election Commission on Friday declared that Assembly polls will be held in Himachal Pradesh on November 12 and the counting of votes will take place on December 8.

The 182-seat Gujarat Assembly will go to polls later this year.

Sardinha, who is also a former Chief Minister of Goa, made this claim after casting his vote and also alleged that there is no point in contesting when one knows that their defeat is confirmed.

“Shashi Tharoor is my colleague. If I had to meet I would have requested him for it because I knew everybody would be for Mallikarjun, so what is the point when you know that you are 100 percent going to lose, you just want to show that you contested,” Sardinha said adding that he was sure of veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s victory for the party’s president post.

“Nothing new, there have been elections earlier, unopposed, Madam Sonia ji was the president, Rahul ji was the president and now there are elections and I am sure Mallikarjjun ji will be the new president of the Congress,” he said further.

The 3,500-km yatra from Kanniyakumari to Kashmir is observing a “rest day” on the day of voting for the next president.

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.

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.”

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 party 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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New Congress Chief

Cong Prez Polls: Kharge vs Tharoor, Contest On Monday

After 22 years the Congress is all set to witness a contest for the president post on Monday with senior party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor pitted against each other to lead the party with new vigour so as to fulfil the aim of defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The voting will be done between 10 am and 4 pm, with the results will be declared on October 19.
“The delegates from all states will vote at their respective polling stations with a ‘tick’ mark for the candidate they support. Arrangements have been made for smooth polling,” said Central Election Authority Chairman of Congress Madhusudan Mistry.

“Ballot boxes will reach Delhi on Oct 18 & counting of votes will be done on October 19. A 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 the president about 22 years ago against Sonia Gandhi 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.

Kharge, “It’s my duty to strengthen the org & fight vindictive policies of BJP-RSS, they’re dividing the country on basis of religion; they’re dividing the backwards, scheduled castes, minorities. They see everything through an election point of view.”

“We’ve to fight from parliament to street. It’s difficult as unemployment& inflation are there, GDP growth is falling, the value of rupee is going down, petrol-diesel & essential commodities’ prices are going up,’ he added.

More than nine thousand delegates will vote in this election. The state from which the delegate belongs will have to go to the Congress headquarters of that state and vote.

Apart from the Congress headquarters in the states, the voting facilities will also be available at the party’s central headquarters at 24 Akbar Road.

In Delhi, those delegates can cast their vote who have obtained prior permission from the Central Election Authority to cast their vote in Delhi instead of their own state.

Congress Working Committee members including Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Priyanka Gandhi and some senior leaders will vote in the booth at the Congress headquarters.

About 40 delegates involved in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, including Rahul Gandhi, will be able to cast their vote in the camp itself.

A polling station is being set up at the Sanganakallu campsite in Bellary.

While the two contestants Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge will cast their votes in their respective state’s headquarters Trivendram and Bengaluru

After voting, the ballot boxes from all the states will be brought back to Delhi where the results will be announced after the counting of votes on October 19. (ANI)

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