India: Congress to get first non-Gandhi president in 24 years; counting of votes begins

Former Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor are in the fray for the big post


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Published: Wed 19 Oct 2022, 9:23 AM

The first non-Gandhi chief of the Indian National Congress in 24 years will be named today as the counting of votes for the party's internal election takes place.

Former Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor are in the fray for the big post.

The new president will take over the charge from Sonia Gandhi, who has been serving as interim president after Rahul Gandhi stepped down from the post following the party's loss in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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

Mallikarjun Kharge is seen as the favourite to win the contest. Sources said that five agents from each side would oversee the counting while two agents from both sides would be kept in reserve.

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 organisational polls.

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

Congress sources said the elected president would take charge after Diwali in the presence of senior leaders in a programme 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.

Since Independence, the Congress has mostly been led by a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family, who were elected unanimously. Elections were held only six times as there was more than one candidate - starting in 1939 when P Sitaramayya, backed by Mahatma Gandhi, lost to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

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