The election to decide a non-Gandhi Congress party president after more than 24 years ended on Monday. More than 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates from the electoral college voted to elect the new party chief — Mallikarjun Kharge or Shashi Tharoor — in a secret ballot. The winner, who will replace interim president Sonia Gandhi, will be declared on Wednesday.
The voting took place at the AICC headquarters as well as at more than 65 polling places throughout the nation. It started at 10 am and concluded at 4 pm.
While Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra voted at the AICC headquarters in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi cast his vote at the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ campsite in Karnataka’s Sanganakallu in Ballari along with around 40 other ‘Bharat Yatris’ who are PCC delegates.
Tharoor cast his vote at the Kerala Congress headquarters at Thiruvananthapuram, while Kharge did so at the Karnataka Congress office in Bengaluru.
Kharge is considered the firm favourite for his perceived proximity to the Gandhis and backing by senior leaders, even as Tharoor has pitched himself as the candidate of change.
Meanwhile, senior leader Veerappa Moily denied Tharoor’s allegations that he and other veteran leaders were asked to vote for Kharge. “No such discussion took place. I don’t know why Tharoor said such things,” Moily said.