Congress president polls updates | Voting ends in Kharge vs Tharoor contest; 96% of PCC delegates voted, says Mistry

Results to be declared on October 19

October 17, 2022 10:12 am | Updated 10:06 pm IST

From left to right in the top row, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, P. Chidambaram, Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor; and left to right in the bottom row, Ashok Gehlot, Jairam Ramesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Anand Sharma, Siddaramaiah and D.K. Shivakumar cast their votes for the party’s Presidential election on October 17, 2022.

From left to right in the top row, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, P. Chidambaram, Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor; and left to right in the bottom row, Ashok Gehlot, Jairam Ramesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Anand Sharma, Siddaramaiah and D.K. Shivakumar cast their votes for the party’s Presidential election on October 17, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Voting ended for the Congress presidential elections as senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor faced-off for the post of AICC chief.

Voting began at 10 a.m. at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi and at the party’s polling booths in State offices across the country.

As voting in the Congress presidential poll got underway, outgoing party chief Sonia Gandhi said she had been waiting for a long time for this day.

For the first time in 24 years, no member of the Gandhi family is a candidate for the party’s top post. The last contest that the party witnessed was in November 2000, when Ms. Gandhi had defeated her rival Jitendra Prasada by a huge margin.

Before that, in 1997, a triangular contest took place between Sitaram Kesri, Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot in which Kesri won.

Explained | How is the Congress president elected?

Here are the live updates

8.09 p.m.

Around 95% voting recorded in J-K for Cong presidential election

Around 95 per cent polling was recorded in Jammu and Kashmir for Congress party’s presidential elections, the polling of which was held on Monday, the party official said.

Out of total 340 votes, 321 were polled in J-K. While 151 votes were polled in Jammu, 170 were polled in Srinagar, Returning Officer for J-K, and Congress parliamentarian Ranjit Ranjan said here.

“Around 95 per cent overall polling was recorded in Jammu and Kashmir in the Congress president’s elections, simultaneously, at both places in Srinagar and Jammu headquarters of the party,” Earlier, several Congress delegates, including JKPCC president Vikar Rasool, Karan Singh, and former JKPCC president Ghulam Ahmed Mir, cast their votes here.- PTI

7.53 p.m.

Rivals making ‘proxy’ swipe as they can’t make ‘dynastic’ charge, claims Warring

Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring Monday slammed rivals parties for terming Mallikarjun Kharge a “proxy” candidate of the Gandhi family, saying the “transparent” presidential poll has robbed them of the “dynastic” charge.

Even the other candidate in the party’s presidential election, the seasoned and widely respected Shashi Tharoor, has not questioned the transparency and impartiality of the poll, he said.

Asserting that Congress president is being elected democratically, he asked the rival parties to hold organisational elections like the grand old party.- PTI

7.42 p.m.

29 of 31 delegates vote in Goa

A total of 29 out of 31 Pradesh Congress Committee delegates in Goa cast their votes on Monday in organisational polls to elect a new party president.

A senior party leader said two delegates of the Goa Pradesh Congress committee (GPCC) were absent during the voting.

“Thirty-one representatives (delegates) from different blocks were eligible to vote in today’s elections. Of these, 29 cast their ballot,” he said.

GPCC President Amit Patkar was amongst the early voters at the Goa Congress headquarters in Panaji where polling took place. The voting took place between 10 am and 4 pm.- PTI

7.30 p.m.

771 of 797 delegates from Maharashtra cast votes

A total of 771 of 797 delegates belonging to Maharashtra and Mumbai units of Congress on Monday cast their votes to elect the next president of All India Congress Committee (AICC) between Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor.

The Maharashtra Congress unit recorded 96% voting and the Mumbai unit 97 % voting, Congress functionaries said.- PTI

6.29 p.m.

Fifty delegates cast votes in Arunachal Pradesh

Fifty of the 54 Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee delegates voted in the polls held on Monday to elect the next All India Congress Committee president, a senior leader of the party said.

A few PCC members from the state cast their votes in New Delhi, the leader said.

Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) President Nabam Tuki was the first one to cast his vote.- PTI

6.13 p.m.

Sachin Pilot calls Congress president polls “democratic and transparent”

Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Monday said that the party has set an example for the country by conducting open, democratic and transparent elections.

“The party proved that there is always free and fair election for the position of party president. Congress party has set an example for the country by conducting open, democratic and transparent elections,” Mr. Pilot said.

Talking about the new President of the party after the election, Pilot said that whoever wins the presidential election will get full support from all the party members.- ANI

6.03 p.m.

Other political parties can learn lessons from Congress presidential polls: Madhusudan Mistry

Party election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry, after the conclusion of the Congress president polls, said that the elections were held in an open manner.

Other political parties can learn lessons from it, said Mr. Mistry.

About the election, he said that there was no adverse incident during the polls.- PTI

5.27 p.m.

96% of Pradesh Congress Committee delegates voted, says Mistry

Madhusudan Mistry, who heads Congress’Central Election Authority, said that about 96% of the Pradesh Congress Committee delegates voted to elect the next party president.

Of the 9915 delegates, about 9,500 exercised their mandate. In all, there were 36 polling centres across all the States and Union Territories, he said.

Over 90% of voting was registered in all the States and UTs, he informed, adding that these are the provisonal data and that the real figures will be out tomorrow.

4.52 p.m.

Voting ends in Kharge vs Tharoor contest

Voting ended on Monday in the Congress presidential poll as senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor faced-off for the post of AICC chief.

Over 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates form the electoral college to pick the party chief in a secret ballot.

Voting began at 10 a.m. at the AICC headquarters here and at the party’s polling booths in State offices across the country.

As voting in the Congress presidential poll got underway, outgoing party chief Sonia Gandhi said she had been waiting for a long time for this day. - PTI

4.47 p.m.

No doubt Mallikarjun Kharge is winning, but necessary for the party to do “Congress Jodo” before Bharat Jodo, says former leader Ashwini Kumar

Former senior Congress leader and former union minister Ashwani Kumar on Monday said that there is no doubt that Mallikarjun Kharge is winning the election for the post of Congress president, but it is necessary for the party to do “Congress Jodo” before Bharat Jodo.

Asserting that Congress cannot unite India without unifying the party itself, Ashwani Kumar told ANI, “The most important thing that Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also a senior leader, will do is to take everyone along. Till the time Congress does not unify itself, they cannot unite the country (Bharat Jodo).”

Former Union Minister further said that the most crucial thing Shashi Tharoor has done in the battle for the Congress president post is that he (Mr. Tharoor) has decided the path of his future.

“He may not win the elections but the courage he exhibited by contesting the presidential polls has established his good image in people’s minds. It would be important to know what is Tharoor’s stand, where is he moving and what are his actions after the election results on Wednesday (October 19),” the former Union Minister said.

He further lauded the Congress’ initiative to conduct internal elections and claimed that Mr. Kharge will win these elections.

“It is good that elections are being held in the Congress party, everyone knows who will win. [Mr.] Kharge will win because he is the unofficially declared candidate of the Congress leadership. But there are two favourable things here that both the candidates have kept their campaign level high and this election could be held in a cordial manner,” he added. - ANI

4.23 p.m.

Delhi Congress leaders cast votes for party’s presidential polls

Delhi Pradesh Congress committee (DPCC) president Anil Chaudhary (5th right) with other party leaders showing their finger with indelible ink mark after casting their vote for the party’s presidential election at DPCC headquarters in Delhi on October 17, 2022.

Delhi Pradesh Congress committee (DPCC) president Anil Chaudhary (5th right) with other party leaders showing their finger with indelible ink mark after casting their vote for the party’s presidential election at DPCC headquarters in Delhi on October 17, 2022. | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Delhi Pradesh Congress committee (DPCC) leaders, including DPCC president Anil Chaudhary and other Delhi unit leaders casted their votes for the party’s presidential election at the DPCC headquarters in New Delhi.

3.58 p.m.

Meira Kumar, Salman Khurshid, Anand Sharma cast vote at AICC headquarters

Senior Congress leader and former Speaker of Lok Sabha, Meira kumar during the party’s presidential election at AICC headquarters in New Delhi on October 17, 2022.

Senior Congress leader and former Speaker of Lok Sabha, Meira kumar during the party’s presidential election at AICC headquarters in New Delhi on October 17, 2022. | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Former Lok Sabha Speaker and senior party leader Meira Kumar excercised her franchise in the ongoing Congress Presidential polls at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi.

Senior Congress leader and a member of ‘G-23’ Anand Sharma casts his vote during the party’s presidential election at AICC headquarters in New Delhi on October 17, 2022.

Senior Congress leader and a member of ‘G-23’ Anand Sharma casts his vote during the party’s presidential election at AICC headquarters in New Delhi on October 17, 2022. | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Other senior leaders, including Salman Khurshid, Anand Sharma, Deepender Hooda, Harish Rawat and Mohsina Kidwai also casted their votes at the party headquarters.

3.30 p.m.

Karti Chidambaram backs Tharoor; Senior Kerala Congress leaders bat for Kharge

In the ongoing Congress president elections, Karti Chidambaram has backed Shashi Tharoor, saying people were looking for someone who has a fresh perspective.

Mr. Tharoor is articulate, a three-time Parliamentarian and has a huge fan following, he added.

Senior Kerala leaders, including KPCC chief K. Sudhakaran, V.D. Satheesan, Ramesh Chennithala and K. Muraleedharan also openly declared their preference. They said Mallikarjun Kharge is better suited for the post as he has risen through the ranks and is more experienced than Mr. Tharoor.

Mr. Tharoor has on many occasions said Congress leaders in Kerala appeared to be against him. - PTI

3.10 p.m.

Ex-President Pranab Mukherjee’s s son Abhijit tweets support for Kharge despite leaving Congress and joining TMC a year ago

Former President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee, who had left his father’s party to join Trinamool Congress last year, created a storm in a tea cup on Monday by urging his ex-party colleagues to vote for Malikarjun Kharge through a surprise tweet.

Mr. Mukherjee’s father and grandfather were members of the Indian National Congress. - PTI

3.03 p.m.

“Revival of Congress has begun,” says Tharoor; Kharge says “together have to build party”

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said the revival of the grand old party has begun whatever the outcome and that the fate of the Indian National Congress lies in the hands of the party workers.

Mr. Tharoor also said he had spoken to Kharge earlier in the day. “Today I spoke to Mr Kharge and said whatever has happened, we remain colleagues and friends,” he said.

Mallikarjun Kharge also told ANI today: “It is part of our internal election. Whatever we said to each other is on a friendly note. Together we have to build the party. (Shashi) Tharoor telephoned me and wished me luck and I also said the same.” - ANI

2.50 p.m.

As Congress elects non-Gandhi chief, top leaders stress Gandhi family to play key role going forward

Speaking to reporters after casting her vote at the AICC headquarters here, senior leader Ambika Soni asserted that the Gandhi family cannot be ignored and the party workers’ attachment with them would remain.

Hailing Sonia Gandhi’s contribution to the party, Soni said she played a key role in the formation of the UPA government and the Congress’ win in the 2004 polls, beating the BJP’s ‘Shining India’ campaign.

“This effort to separate them (Gandhis) will never succeed. Talk about issues such as price rise, prices are soaring,” the former Union Minister told reporters.

Congress spokesperson and in-charge for Sikkim, Tripura and Nagaland Ajoy Kumar asserted that it was a historical moment as he slammed the BJP for its criticism of the AICC presidential polls. “None of us know how J P Nadda got selected, two-and-a-half people decided – one Modi, one Shah and a half RSS. So such a party commenting on polls is a joke,” he said. - PTI

2.40 p.m.

“Waiting for a long time,” says Sonia Gandhi

“I have been waiting for a long time,” Congress president Sonia Gandhi said when she was asked by mediapersons on the poll. Sonia Gandhi cast her vote at the headquarters of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). 

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also accompanied her mother and cast her vote.

Sonia Gandhi is the party’s longest-serving president, having held the office for over twenty years from 1998 to 2017 and since 2019.- ANI

2.30 p.m.

 250 delegates cast vote in Gujarat till 1.30 pm

Around 250 Congress delegates out of the total 407 in Gujarat have so far voted for the polls underway on Monday to elect the next All India Congress Committee (AICC) president, a party spokesperson said.

Gujarat Congress president Jagdish Thakor and former state chief Amit Chavda were among those who exercised their franchise at the state party headquarters in Paldi area of the city.

There was a queue of voters in the morning. Around 250 delegates, including senior state Congress leaders, cast their votes till 1.30 pm, party spokesperson Alok Sharma said. - PTI

2.25 p.m.

Chhattisgarh CM Baghel and others cast vote

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and State Congress head Mohan Markam were among the party leaders who cast their votes for electing the next president of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

Senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor are in the fray for the post of the AICC chief.

Voting was underway from 10 am at the state Congress office ‘Rajiv Bhawan’ in Raipur and will conclude at 4 pm.

Out of the total 307 Pradesh Congress Congress delegates eligible to cast their votes, 210 have so far exercised their franchise, Chhattisgarh party unit’s communication wing head Sushil Anand Shukla said.

2:13 p.m.

Relations with Gandhi family after party polls will be as they have been for 50 years: Ashok Gehlot

As voting in the Congress presidential polls got underway on Monday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, once a frontrunner for the post, said his relationship with the Gandhi family will be the “same for life”.

“Even after October 19, my relationship with the Gandhi family will remain the same as it has been for the last 50 years, I can say this with certainty,” he said. Mr. Gehlot was at the PCC office to cast his vote. Counting will take place on October 19.

“Vinoba Bhave had once said that his relationship with Gita Mata was beyond reason. I have the same relationship with the Gandhi family and it will be the same for life,” Mr. Gehlot told reporters. -PTI

1:52 p.m.

MP Manish Tewari, Haryana Congress leader Hooda cast vote

Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda cast their votes for the Congress presidential poll at their respective party offices on Monday.      

Anandpur Sahib MP Tewari cast his vote at the Punjab Congress Bhawan while Hooda at the Haryana Congress Bhawan here.  -PTI 

1:53 p.m.

Voting on for Congress Presidential election in Jammu and Kashmir

Voting for the Congress Presidential election was underway here on Monday.

As many as 340 delegates are eligible to exercise their franchise.

Several Congress delegates, including JKPCC president Vikar Rasool, Karan Singh, and former JKPCC president Ghulam Ahmed Mir, cast their votes here.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rasool said two polling stations have been set up, one each in Srinagar and Jammu, where delegates will cast their votes. -PTI

1:43 p.m.

Tharoor terms Congress presidential elections as a “friendly but tough contest”

Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor, MP, said no contestant could aspire for an easy victory in the organisational elections.

Speaking to journalists after casting his vote at the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) headquarters at Indira Bhavan, Mr. Tharoor said, “It is a friendly contest, but a tough one”.

1:26 p.m.

Polling underway in Hyderabad for AICC presidential election

Polling was underway in Telangana for the AICC presidential election at Gandhi Bhavan, the State Congress headquarters here, on Monday.

Senior leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir cast the first vote, followed by former PCC president Ponnala Laxmaiah and K. Jana Reddy, both former ministers, party sources said. -PTI

1:26 p.m.

Satisfied with Congress’ Presidential polls process; elections free, fair, transparent: Madhusudan Mistry

Congress’ central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry on Monday said he is satisfied with the party’s presidential polls process, and asserted that the elections are “free, fair and transparent”.

Asked about the polling going on at the 68 polling booths the party has set up for the polls, Mr. Mistry told PTI, “It is going quite smoothly everywhere, we don’t have any kind of adverse information from anywhere. Even old delegates are standing in queue to cast their vote, there is a lot of enthusiasm in delegates to cast their vote.” Mr. Mistry said he hopes for a good turnout in the polling as the party’s poll body has appealed to the electors to vote. “Whoever they may choose, but they should vote,” he added.

Asked if he was satisfied with the polls process, Mr. Mistry answered in the affirmative and said, “It is free, fair and transparent, and everything is open for media”.

He said he has received no complaints during the polling process. -PTI

1:11 p.m.

Brisk polling at T.N. Congress office, Puducherry in AICC presidential election

Brisk polling was witnessed at the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee office here as elections for the next All India Congress Committee chief got underway here on Monday.

In Tamil Nadu, a total of 711 voters are eligible to cast their vote. The existing auditorium at Sathyamurthy Bhavan has been converted into a polling camp.

Some of the early voters included TNCC president K.S. Alagiri, and senior Congress leaders Karti P. Chidambaram and Peter Alphonse.

Puducherry has 29 delegates attached to the electoral college to vote in the poll.

PCC delegates including former chief minister V. Narayanasamy, Congress Lok Sabha member V. Vaithilingam, PCC president A.V. Subramanian, former Ministers M. Kandasamy, R. Kamalakannan, M O H F Shah Jahan and Congress MLA M. Vaithianathan were among those who voted. -PTI

12:39 p.m.

A.P. leaders begin voting in AICC president’s election

Polling for the election of All India Congress Committee president began on an enthusiastic note at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh on Monday.

Party spokesman Janga Gautam cast the first vote at the polling station in the Kurnool district Congress office.

State Congress president Sake Sailajanath, working presidents N. Thulasi Reddy, Sheik Mastanvali and other leaders also exercised their franchise. -PTI

12:38 p.m.

310 delegates from Kerala to cast vote

Polling for the Congress president’s post commenced at 10 a.m. at the KPCC state headquarters here where 310 Congress delegates from Kerala are expected to cast their vote on Monday either for Shashi Tharoor or Mallikarjun Kharge for the party chief’s position.

While many of the senior leaders from Kerala, the home turf of Mr. Tharoor, have openly declared their support for Mr. Kharge, the MP from Thiruvananthapuram has claimed that he has the support of the youth leaders and party workers.

Senior party leaders like Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief K. Sudhakaran, V.D. Satheesan, Ramesh Chennithala and K. Muraleedharan have said that Mr. Kharge was better suited for the party president post as he has risen through the ranks and was more experienced than Mr. Tharoor. -PTI

12:37 p.m.

Congress will emerge stronger under its new president: Goa unit chief Amit Patkar

The Congress will emerge stronger in the country under its new national president, Goa party head Amit Patkar said on Monday after casting his vote for polls to elect the next All India Congress Committee (AICC) chief.

Out of the total 31 delegates in Goa, “75% have cast their votes so far,” a senior party leader said.

The polling was being held at the state party headquarters in Panaji. -PTI

12:23 p.m.

Voting for Cong presidential election underway in U.P.

Voting for the All India Congress Committee president election was underway at the party headquarters in Uttar Pradesh.

“Voting at the U.P. Congress Committee began at 10 a.m. Till now, around 300 party delegates have cast their votes,” UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh told PTI.

Around 1,250 party delegates are expected to cast their votes. -PTI

12:22 p.m.

Former CM Kamal Nath among early voters in M.P.

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath and his parliamentarian son Nakul Nath cast their votes on Monday soon after polling began to elect the next All India Congress Committee (AICC) chief.

A total of 502 delegates from Madhya Pradesh are eligible to cast their votes in the polls. -PTI

12:21 p.m.

Maharashtra party chief Nana Patole, former State head Balasaheb Thorat cast vote

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole and former state unit head Balasaheb Thorat were among the first few leaders to cast their vote on Monday to elect the next All India Congress Committee (AICC) chief.

A total of 797 Congress delegates from Maharashtra are eligible to cast their votes. Out of these delegates, 561 are from the party’s Maharashtra Pradesh unit, while 236 belong to the Mumbai unit.

The polling is being held at Tilak Bhavan in Dadar area of Mumbai. -PTI

12:20 p.m.

Rahul Gandhi casts vote in Bellary

Rahul Gandhi standing in queue waiting for his turn to exercise his franchise in the AICC presidential poll at the Sanganakallu polling station near Ballari on Monday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Rahul Gandhi standing in queue waiting for his turn to exercise his franchise in the AICC presidential poll at the Sanganakallu polling station near Ballari on Monday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Congress leader and former President of All India Congress Committee (AICC) Rahul Gandhi, who was leading Bharat Jodo Yatra for the last one month and was stayed near Sanganakallu on the outskirts of Ballari for the last two days, cast his vote in the AICC presidential election on Monday.

A special polling booth was established at the Bharat Jodo Yatra camp by converting a mobile meeting room container into the polling booth for facilitating the eligible voters that were walking with Mr. Gandhi.

National Coordinator of Bharat Jodo Yatra Digvijaya Singh, AICC general secretary Randeep Surjewala, Congress Communication Department head Jairam Ramesh, Lok Sabha member D.K. Suresh, All India Mahila Congress president Netta D’souza and Kanhaiya Kumar were other prominent leaders who cast vote at the Sanganakallu polling station. As many as 53 voters exercised their franchises in the booth.

Kiran Mugabasav served as Returning Officer and Lok Sabha member Jothimani worked as the overall in-charge of the polling in Sanganakallu polling station.

11:47 a.m.

Rajasthan CM casts his vote

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday cast his vote at the party office here for the Congress presidential poll. He also tweeted a picture of him casting the vote. The voting began at 10 a.m. and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Govind Singh Dotasra, chief whip Mahesh Joshi, ministers BD Kalla, Vishvendra Singh, Mamta Bhupesh and several other delegates also cast their votes. Two booths have been set up in the PCC office for voting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are 414 delegates in the state who will be casting votes. -PTI

11:44 a.m.

Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram cast vote

Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh cast his vote today. Also, Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram was the first person to cast his vote at the Congress headquarters where only Congress Working Committee members and invitees can vote.

Several senior leaders such as general secretary Jairam Ramesh, Ambika Soni, Ajay Maken and Vivek Tankha, among others, cast their vote at the party headquarters.

Voting to elect the Congress President is underway at the AICC on Monday.

Voting to elect the Congress President is underway at the AICC on Monday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

11:43 a.m.

Shashi Tharoor says fate of Congress lies with party workers

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who is pitted against party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge for the post of the Congress president on Monday, said the revival of the grand old party has begun, whatever the outcome and that the fate of the Indian National Congress lies in the hands of the party workers.

He also took to Twitter to share, “Some people play safe in order not to lose. But if you just play safe, you will definitely lose.”

11:36 a.m.

Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra cast votes at party headquarters

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday cast her vote in the party’s polls to elect her successor. When asked by reporters about the polls, Sonia Gandhi said, “I have been waiting for a long time for this day.”

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also accompanied her mother Sonia Gandhi and cast her vote.

Sonia Gandhi casts her vote.

Sonia Gandhi casts her vote. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra casts her vote.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra casts her vote. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

11:10 a.m.

Shashi Tharoor casts vote in Thiruvananthapuram

Congress Presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor said that he was confident of winning the election but acknowledged the odds stacked against him. ”I am confident. The fate of the Congress party is in the hands of party workers. The odds have been stacked against us as the party leaders and establishment were overwhelmingly with the other candidate,” Mr. Tharoor told media persons at Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram today. Mr. Tharoor also said he had spoken to Mr. Kharge earlier in the day.

Shashi Tharoor after casting his vote in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Shashi Tharoor after casting his vote in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. | Photo Credit: S. Mahinsha

11:07 a.m.

Mallikarjun Kharge casts vote in Bengaluru

Congress Presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge casts his vote in Bengaluru. Mr. Kharge also said, “It is part of our internal election. Whatever we said to each other is on a friendly note. Together we have to build the party. (Shashi) Tharoor telephoned me and wished me luck and I also said the same.” -ANI

Congress Presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge casting his vote in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Congress Presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge casting his vote in Bengaluru, Karnataka. | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

10:20 a.m.

Ramesh hails Cong presidential polls as historic

Congress general secretary in-charge of communications Jairam Ramesh said the Congress was the only political party to hold elections for its President. ”This is a historic day. Rahul Gandhi will cast his vote in Ballari during Bharat Jodo Yatra.” - ANI

10.10 a.m.

75 delegates including Sonia, Priyanka Gandhi to vote at AICC headquarters

A total of 75 delegates from the Congress party will cast their votes for electing the new party president in New Delhi, said sources.

With the party all set to elect its new president, the 75 delegates including interim chief Sonia Gandhi, General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and senior leaders will cast their vote in the headquarters of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in New Delhi.

Apart from these, 280 other delegates will also cast their vote in the Delhi Congress office, the sources added.

The delegates who obtained prior permission from the Central Election Authority to cast their vote will vote in Delhi instead of their own state today. -- ANI

9.59 a.m.

Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor said that “Spoke to Mallikarjun Kharge this morning to wish him well and to reaffirm my respect for him and our shared devotion to the success of Indian National Congress.”

9.55 a.m.

Electors asked to put tick mark against the name 

Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor’s team has taken up with the party’s central election authority chairman the issue of a directive asking PCC delegates to mark “1” against the name of their choice on the ballot paper that has Mallikarjun Kharge on serial number ‘1’ and Mr. Tharoor on ‘2‘, sources said on Sunday.

After Mr. Tharoor’s team flagged this issue, Mr. Mistry is said to have conveyed to them that now a tick would be accepted against the name of the preferred candidate instead of ‘1’, the sources said.

9.40 a.m.

Not possible to mobilise Congress without Gandhis: Mallikarjun Kharge 

After a day of hectic campaigning across Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge speaks to The Hindu about the upcoming presidential elections. 

9.35 a.m.

I will listen to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi: Kharge 

Despite Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor repeatedly underlining that there is no “official candidate” [sponsored by the high-command] in the October 17 poll, the star-studded welcome accorded to his rival, veteran Karnataka Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, in the presence of TNCC big-wigs at Sathyamurthy Bhavan in Chennai on Friday, left no one in doubt over whom the high-command favoured.

He was received in the presence of TNCC president K.S. Alagiri, former presidents E.V.K.S. Elangovan and K.V. Thangkabalu, former Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, a host of TNCC general secretaries, Congress Legislative Party leader Selvaperunthagai, Tiruvallur MP K. Jayakumar, MLA Vijayadharini S., Kerala Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala and many others.

9.30 a.m.

Some leaders openly supporting Kharge disturbs level-playing field: Shashi Tharoor 

Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor on Thursday lamented that some leaders had openly come out in support of his poll opponent Mallikarjun Kharge and even summoned meetings in his favour, saying it disturbed the level-playing field.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP also said several PCC chiefs and senior leaders were not available for a meeting with him during his visits to their respective states, but they warmed up to Kharge when he visited them for support.

Seeking votes from delegates at the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) office in New Delhi, Mr. Tharoor said he wanted to bring a “change” in the organisation.

9.25 a.m.

Congress to choose between Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor 

The Congress is all set to witness a contest between Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor and party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge in the party’s presidential polls on Monday.

For the first time in 24 years, no member of the Gandhi family is a candidate for the party’s top post. The last contest that the party witnessed was in November 2000, when Sonia Gandhi had defeated her rival Jitendra Prasada by a huge margin.

Before that, in 1997, a triangular contest took place between Sitaram Kesri, Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot in which Kesri won.

While voting will be held at all State units headquarters, a polling booth has been set up at the party headquarters for Congress Working Committee members and special arrangements made for the delegates who are part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Voting will start from 10 a.m. and end by 4 p.m.

9.20 a.m.

Gloves off in Congress Kerala unit

The gloves appear to be off in the Congress presidential tie between Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge.

In a flurry of media interactions during his two-day campaigning in Kerala, Mr. Tharoor hinted that he might move the Chief Election Officer (CEO) Madhusudhan Mistry against Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office bearers who had openly pitched for his opponent Mallikarjun Kharge.

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