New Delhi: Congress members queued up across the country on Monday to elect their first non-Gandhi president in 24 years, choosing between senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor in an exercise aimed at putting the party on the path to revival. With the closure of the secret voting ballot, around 9000 Pradesh Congress Committee delegates from the electoral college picked cast their vote.
Voting began at 10 am at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi and at the party’s polling booths in state offices across the country. Veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram was the first to cast his vote at the AICC headquarters, sources said. The results of the poll will be announced on Wednesday.
While Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, voted in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi, who is on the Bharat Jodo Yatra, did so at a meeting room container converted into a polling booth at the yatra campsite in Ballari in Karnataka.
The polls being held after a hiatus of 20 years, both the interim chief and her son Rahul Gandhi were clear they want someone from outside the family to be the president and they are now going to achieve that aim and answer their critics who allege that the family doesn’t want to give up power.