Kharge is new AICC prez, 1st non-Gandhi chief in 24 yrs

New Delhi, Oct 19: Mallikarjun Kharge was on Wednesday elected the Congress president after defeating Shashi Tharoor in an electoral contest, the sixth in the party’s 137-year-old history.
Around 9,500 party delegates voted in the election. Kharge received 7,897 votes while Tharoor got 1,072 votes.
Karti Chidambaram, a counting agent for Tharoor, declared after the counting process was over that Kharge had won the polls and the Kerala MP had got 1,072 votes.
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 on Monday
In a statement, Tharoor said the final verdict has been in favour of Kharge. He also conveyed his congratulations to Kharge for his victory.
“The decision of the party delegates is final and I accept it humbly. It is a privilege to be a member of a party that allows its workers to choose their president,” Tharoor said.
“Our new president is a party colleague and senior who brings ample leadership and experience to the table. Under his guidance, I am confident that we can all collectively take the party to new heights,” Tharoor said.
Tharoor said the party owes an “irredeemable debt” to outgoing president Sonia Gandhi, for her quarter-century of leadership of the party and for being the anchor during our most crucial moments.
“Her decision to authorise this election process, which has given us new pathways to the future, is undoubtedly a fitting testament to her sagacity and vision for our party. I hope she continues to guide, motivate and inspire the party’s new leadership team in overcoming the challenges ahead,” Tharoor said.
He also thanked former president Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for doing their own bit to support free and neutral elections.
“The Nehru-Gandhi family has held, and will always hold, a special place in the hearts of Congress party members and with good reason too,” he said.
The results will be officially declared in a short while.
Kharge would be the first non-Gandhi president in 24 years.