The Congress party on Wednesday elected its first leader from outside the Nehru-Gandhi family in over two decades, but the move is unlikely to help the already decimated party pose a challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 general election. As many as 9,000 delegates voted in the election to pick veteran lawmaker Mallikarjun Kharge, 80, as party president. He defeated diplomat-turned-politician Shashi Tharoor, the head of the party’s election authority has said.
Kerala PCC chief praises manner in which Tharoor contested party prez poll
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran, who openly supported Mallikarjun Kharge for the post of party president, today was full of praise for the manner in which Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor contested in the election.
After Cong chief poll, focus now shifts to Gehlot-Pilot duel in Rajasthan
With the Congress having elected its new president, focus is now expected to shift to Rajasthan which has been witnessing long-running differences between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his bete noire Sachin Pilot on who gets to call the shots.
J'khand CM congratulates Kharge on being elected Cong president
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren Wednesday congratulated Mallikarjun Kharge on being elected the Congress president. “My heartiest congratulations to Shri Mallikarjun Kharge ji on his election as the INC India president. I wish him the very best in his journey," Soren said in a tweet.
Newly elected Congress chief rubber stamp: Rajyavardhan Rathore
BJP leader Rajyavardhan Rathore on Wednesday called newly elected Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge a "rubber stamp" and alleged that the party’s internal polls to its chief were a "fraud".
PM Modi extends wishes to Kharge
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extends his wishes Mallikarjun Kharge on being elected as the President of the Congress party.
'Mallikarjun Kharge's victory is victory of Congress'
After losing the Congress presidential election to Mallikarjun Kharge, Shashi Tharoor said that he has never doubted the party's election authority. He added, “Mallikarjun Kharge's victory is victory of Congress."
Kharge will consult everyone, give preference to party workers, says his son
Priyank Kharge has said that his father Mallikarjun Kharge, who was elected as the Congress President, will strengthen the outfit by consulting everyone and give preference to the party workers.
‘…together fight threat to democracy and Constitution’
We have to together fight threat to democracy and Constitution, says Congress president-elect Mallikarjun Kharge
Congress President-elect Kharge to take charge on 26 Oct
Congress President-elect Mallikarjun Kharge will take charge on 26 October, announces party MP Randeep Surjewala.
Rahul congratulates Congress chief-elect Kharge
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi today congratulated Mallikarjun Kharge on being elected as the new party chief and said he represents a "democratic vision" of India. "Congratulations to Mallikarjun Kharge ji on being elected as the President of Congress," Gandhi said on Twitter.
Tharoor thanks Rahul Gandhi for…
My thanks to Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for doing their own bit to support free and neutral Cong prez elections, says Shashi Tharoor.
Tharoor calls on Kharge after poll results
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor called on party president-elect Mallikarjun Kharge after losing to him in the battle for the top post, and offered his full cooperation going forward. "Called on our new President-elect Mallikarjun Kharge to congratulate him & offer him my full co-operation. Congress has been strengthened by our contest," Tharoor tweeted along with pictures of his meeting with Kharge.
Sonia Gandhi visits Kharge after his victory in party prez poll
Outgoing Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited party chief-elect Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence here soon after he was declared winner and congratulated him. Gandhi was accompanied by Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during their visit.
'Tharoor will be ridiculed and shamed for taking on Gandhis'
After Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor flagged the issue of "polling irregularities" in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP mocked, saying did he expect free and fair elections. BJP IT department head Amit Malviya also claimed that the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram will be ridiculed and shamed for taking on the Gandhis.
Ask Kharge ji...: Rahul Gandhi announces new party chief ahead of results
Even before the results of the Congress presidential elections were officially announced, Rahul Gandhi today said Mallikarjun Kharge will decide his role in the party. "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," the Congress MP said.
‘Declare Mallikarjun Kharge as the elected President of Congress’
I hereby declare Mallikarjun Kharge as the elected President of Congress, says Madhusudan Mistry, Congress CEC Chairman.
Watch: Celebration visuals from outside the AICC office in Delhi as Mallikarjun Kharge wins
Mallikarjun Kharge won the Congress presidential elections. He won the Congress presidential elections with 7,897 votes, Shashi Tharoor got about 1000 votes; 416 votes were rejected.
Shashi Tharoor wishes Mallikarjun Kharge ‘all success’, says privilege to get support of over 1,000 colleagues
Shashi Tharoor wished the newly elected Mallikarjun Kharge all success.
In a letter, Tharoor wrote, “On 17th October, as a true celebration of inner party democracy, 9500 delegates of the Indies National Congress cast their role in the elections for the post of party president. Today, the final verdict them in tour of Shri Mallikarjun Kharge-ji would like to convey my warm congratulations to him for his victory. The decision of the party delegates is final and I accept a humbly. It is a privilege be a member of a party that allows its workers to do their President"
“I would like to offer my thanks and congratulations to the delegates who have come together to participate in these elections. My immense gratitude, as well, to the innumerable and often anonymous karyakartas who dedicatedly worked overtime to ensure that these elections were conducted in a constructive spirit for the betterment of our party," he added.
Mallikarjun Kharge wins the Congress presidential elections with 7897 votes
Congress leader Pramod Tiwari has announced that Mallikarjun Kharge has won the Congress presidential elections. As per Tiwari, "Mallikarjun Kharge wins the Congress presidential elections with 7897 votes, Shashi Tharoor got about 1000 votes. Kharge has won with 8 times more votes."
Mistry Ji is straightforward, issues will be addressed by EC, says Rahul Gandhi on letter on Irregularities
“We are the only political party in the country that holds elections, we are also the only party that has the election commission inside it. I have worked with Mistry ji, he is a straightforward person. Whatever issue has been addressed it will be taken up by the election commission," Rahul Gandhi said
Unfortunate that strictly internal letter to CEA leaked in media, says Shashi Tharoor
The letter to CEA Madhusudan Mistry over the alleged irregularities in UP, which went public, was strictly an internal letter, said Shashi Tharoor after news of irregularities came into light.
In a Tweet, he wrote, “It was unfortunate that a strictly internal letter to the CEA was leaked to the media. I hope this clarification by SalmanSoz ends an unnecessary controversy. This election was meant to strengthen INCIndia, not to divide it. Let's move on."
His tweet came as a reply to Saleem Soz, Tharoor’s campaign manager's post, “In light of complaints from our UP team yesterday, we wrote to @INCIndia’s CEA immediately, a standard practice. Subsequent discussions with the CEA have assured us of a fair inquiry. We have agreed for the counting to continue and our team looks forward to the results."
Polling agents were threatened in UP, says Tharoor's election agent Salman Soz
Tharoor's team said it suspects "voter fraud" in this election, alleging that there were delegates who were not present in the Lucknow area on the day of voting and their votes were cast.
There were complaints from people about not being allowed to cast their votes since others had already cast their votes, the letter said.
"When our agents complained about voter malpractice, supporters of the other side would come inside the polling booth and create a ruckus and start threatening our polling agents," Soz said in his letter.
No evidence that Kharge was aware of malpractice by his supporters, writes Salman Soz
"We would like to underline that we have no evidence that Mallikarjun Kharge ji was aware of how his supporters were engaging in electoral malpractice in Uttar Pradesh. We are certain that if he was aware, he would never allow what happened in Uttar Pradesh," Soz said in his letter.
What were the irregularities found in Congress President Polls in UP
In the letter written to Congress Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudhan Mistry, Shashi Tharoor's election agent Salman Soz has stated irregularities in UP election.
The "irregularities" flagged by were use of unofficial seals for ballot boxes, presence of unofficial persons in polling booths, voting malpractice, no polling summary sheet, presence of AICC secretaries in-Charge of Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from UP, Team Tharoor alleges serious issues in conduct of polls in Punjab, Telangana
Apart from elections in UP, team Tharoor has also raised ‘serious issues’ in conduct of polls in Punjab, Telangana. Earlier, team Tharoor had demanded all votes from Uttar Pradesh be deemed invalid.
Tharoor whining like a sore loser, says BJP's Amit Malviya
After Salman Soz, election agent to Shashi Tharoor alleged serious irregularities in conduct of election in UP, BJP leader Amit Malviya has taken a swipe at Tharoor saying that he is whining like a sore loser.
In a tweet, he wrote, “Shashi Tharoor is whining like a sore loser. Did he actually expect elections in Congress to be free and fair? He should be grateful that he wasn’t locked up in bathroom…The worst is still to come. In the next few months he will be ridiculed and shamed for taking on the Gandhis"
Tharoor's election agent alleges ‘serious irregularities’, writes to poll body
Salman Soz, election agent to Shashi Tharoor has alleged extremely serious irregularities in conduct of election in UP. He has written a letter to Congress Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudhan Mistry, demanding "that all votes from UP be deemed invalid."
Tharoor camp says informed Mistry's office about many issues
“We've been in constant communication with Madhusudan Mistry's office, informed them about many different issues, cannot get into its specifics right now," Salman Soz, election agent of Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor told news agency ANI.
Gaurav Gogoi, counting agent of Mallikarjun Kharge says proud that poll were held in a democratic manner
Gaurav Gogoi, counting agent of Mallikarjun Kharge said, “It's a historic moment. We're proud that we held poll in such a democratic manner. We also feel gratitude towards Sonia Gandhi who took charge of the party during a difficult time. In time to come, Congress will further strengthen."
Shashi Tharoor says ‘Thank You’ as counting of votes begins
As the counting has begun for the new chief began at the AICC HQ, Shashi Tharoor has said a big thank you to who all who contributed to making this historic event a landmark in the evolution of politics.
In a Tweet he wrote, “As the counting begins in INCIndia presidential elections, a big “thank you" from me to who all who contributed to making this historic event a landmark in the evolution of our politics."
Counting agents of Shashi Tharoor
Karti Chidambaram, Atul Chaturvedi and Sumedh Gaikwal are among those who are counting agents of Shashi Tharoor.
Counting agents of Mallikarjun Kharge
The counting agents of Kharge are Pramod Tiwari, Kodikunil Suresh, Gaurav Gogoi, Syed Nasir Hussain, Kuljit Singh Bagra and Gurdeep Singh Sappal.
Counting of votes for the new chief begins at AICC HQ
The counting of votes for the new chief begins at AICC HQ. The result is likely to be declared between 3 pm to 4 pm today. The counting of the votes, which was schedule to begin at 10 am at the AICC headquarters here, started around 10:20 am. All sealed ballot boxes from the 68 polling booths set up across the country had been brought here by Tuesday evening and kept in a "strong room" at the party office.
Madhusudan Mistry arrives at party HQ, counting of votes to begin shortly
Congress Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry arrives at the party HQ in Delhi. Counting of votes for the party's presidential election will begin shortly. Gaurav Gogoi, counting agent of the party's presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge also arrives at the HQ.
All you need to know about Mallikarjun Kharge
Mallikarjun Kharge has been considered the Gandhi family’s ‘unofficial official candidate’ with a large number of senior party leaders backing him. The 80-year-old is a grassroots politician and a hardcore loyalist of the Gandhi family. Kharge was born in a poor family at Varavatti in Bidar district, did his schooling and BA as well as Law in Gulbarga.
A leader with more than 50 years of experience in politics, Kharge, who was elected MLA for nine times in a row and has been pitched as a Dalit leader by his party colleagues, has seen a steady rise in his career graph from humble beginnings as a union leader in his home-district of Gulbarga, now Kalaburagi.
All you need to know about Shashi Tharoor
66-year-old Shashi Tharoor is known for speaking his mind and joined the Congress in 2009 after a long stint at the United Nations. Tharoor was born in London and had a phenomenal education background. He studied at premier institutions in India and the US, including St Stephen's College in Delhi and Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts. He completed a Ph.D. in 1978 from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Tharoor, however, made a lateral entry into politics following a long career at the United Nations, which included serving as senior adviser to the Secretary-General, in addition to his role as Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.
Tharoor entered politics after he announced his retirement following his second-place finish in the 2006 selection for UN Secretary-General to Ban Ki-moon, and was elected to Parliament in 2009.
He has been a very active parliamentarian and has won three Lok Sabha elections on the trot from Thiruvananthapuram, but has not served on party organisational posts.
Watch: Bharat Jodo Yatra of the Congress party resumes from Chagi Village in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh.
Previous Non-Gandhi Congress President
It is the sixth time in Congress' nearly 137-year-old history that an electoral contest will decide who would take up the mantle of the party's president as successor to Sonia Gandhi.
1. It was way back in 1939, when an electoral contest decided who would be the Congress president, and Mahatma Gandhi's candidate P Sitaramayya had lost to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
2. Then in 1950 came the Congress' first post-Independence election for the post of party president when Purshottam Das Tandon and Acharya Kripalani faced off. Surprisingly, Tandon, seen as a Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel loyalist, won the contest, trumping the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's choice.
3. In 1977, following the resignation of Dev Kant Barooah as party president in the wake of the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, K Brahmananda Reddy defeated Siddhartha Shankar Ray and Karan Singh in the party's polls for AICC chief.
4. The next election that needed a contest came 20 years later in 1997 when Sitaram Kesri squared off in a triangular contest with Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot. Except for Maharashtra and parts of Uttar Pradesh, all state Congress units had backed Kesri. He posted a landslide victory, getting 6,224 delegates' votes against Pawar's 882 and Pilot's 354.
5. The fifth contest came in 2000 and this was the only time a Gandhi family member was challenged in the elections with Jitendra Prasada taking on Sonia Gandhi. Prasada suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Gandhi, who garnered over 7,400 votes. Prasada had reportedly polled a paltry 94 votes.
More than 9,500 delegates cast their votes in the presidential election
Of the total 9,915 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates that formed the electoral college to pick the party chief in a secret ballot, over 9,500 cast their ballot at PCC offices and the AICC headquarters, Mistry said at a press conference after the polling ended on Monday.
When will Congress presidential polls results come?
The result is likely to be declared between 3 pm to 4 pm today
Congress to get first non-Gandhi president in 24 yrs today
The new president will take 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 favourite 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.
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