After a long wait of 24 years, the grand old party has a new president in the form of 80-year-old veteran Mallikarjun Kharge who was also touted as the favourite to win the election since he was more of an unofficial candidate of the Nehru-Gandhi clan and had strong backing from other senior Congress leaders.
The elections were concluded on Monday when 96 percent of the eligible Congress workers cast their votes in separate state capitals. The fate of the two candidates was sealed by over 9500 votes, which were later transported via 68 sealed ballot boxes and brought to AICC headquarters in New Delhi where the counting took place.
Shockingly, Tharoor and his support group have alleged serious irregularities in the conduction of elections specifically in Uttar Pradesh and urged Congress Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudhan Mistry to deem all votes from UP null and void. The London-born Thiruvananthapuram MP who is known for being outspoken and presenting India on many global platforms lost by a huge margin as Kharge defeated Tharoor by garnering 7897 votes while the latter could only secure a little more than 1000 votes.
Interestingly, it is only the sixth time in the party’s nearly 137-year-old existence that the president is being decided democratically through an election. The last elections were held in 2000 when Jitendra Prasada took on Sonia Gandhi and was defeated badly.
As for now, Kharge will be taking over from Sonia Gandhi who had been serving in the same capacity for many years continuously barring a few episodes when Rahul Gandhi took over from her. Kharge himself is a Gandhi camp loyalist and has reiterated many a time that he would have no shame in taking the suggestions and support from the family in running the party affairs after taking over as the party’s chief.