Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge comfortably defeated Shashi Tharoor to become the new Congress president on Wednesday. Kharge, 80, is the first non-Gandhi president of the Congress in 24 years.
Kharge received 7,897 of the total 9,385 votes while Tharoor, 66, got just 1,072 votes. He replaced interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who has been occupying the post ever since Rahul Gandhi stepped down after party’s dismal show in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Earlier on Wednesday, Rahul, in what appeared to be a slip of tongue, responded to a question referring to Kharge as the new Congress president. Also, on the eve of the counting day, the Tharoor camp approached the election authority alleging that there were certain irregularities that took place during the election.
While Kharge has been considered the Gandhi family’s ‘unofficial official candidate’ with a large number of senior leaders backing him, Tharoor pitched himself as the “candidate of change”. He later tweeted, “It is a great honour & a huge responsibility to be President of @INCIndia &I wish @Kharge ji all success in that task. It was a privilege to have received the support of over a thousand colleagues, & to carry the hopes & aspirations of so many well-wishers of Congress across India.”
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