Kharge vs Tharoor in Cong Prez Race; Stage Set to Elect Non-Gandhi Party Chief After 2 Decades

After years of calls for and delays, the stage is lastly set for the Congress social gathering presidential election scheduled to happen on Monday, October 17, the place senior leaders Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge will face off for the highest job. The competition between social gathering veteran Kharge and high-profile MP Tharoor is an important one because the social gathering will get set to have a non-Gandhi president in over 24 years.

Over 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates from the electoral faculty will choose the social gathering chief in a secret poll. Voting would additionally happen on the AICC headquarters in Delhi and at over 65 polling cubicles throughout the nation between 10 am and 4 pm, in an electoral contest which is happening for the sixth time within the social gathering’s 137-year historical past.

Whereas social gathering chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress normal secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are anticipated to vote on the AICC headquarters in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi shall be voting on the Bharat Jodo Yatra campsite in Karnataka’s Sanganakallu in Ballari together with round 40 different Bharat Yatris who’re PCC delegates.

Excessive Stake election

Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge and Thiruvananthapuram MP Dr Shashi Tharoor are two candidates within the fray for the highest submit within the social gathering. Earlier, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Madhya Pradesh Chie Minister Digvijaya Singh had additionally introduced their candidature for the submit. Nevertheless, whereas Singh backed out and have become the proposer for Kharge, Gehlot needed to withdraw after turmoil began within the Rajasthan unit of the social gathering.

Kharge is seen to have an edge over Tharoor within the contest for his perceived proximity to the Gandhis and backing by senior leaders. Kharge’s nomination is reportedly backed by a number of senior social gathering leaders together with AK Antony, Ashok Gehlot, Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik, Abhishek Singhvi, Ajay Maken, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Digvijaya Singh, Tariq Anwar, Salman Khurshid, Pramod Tiwari, PL Punia, Rajeev Shukla, Prithviraj Chavan, and Manish Tewari.

Tharoor has additionally admitted that in most states, besides in Madhya Pradesh just lately, senior leaders have rallied behind Kharge and stated that the open assist to his rival candidate has disturbed the level-playing discipline.

Tharoor, who’s constructing his marketing campaign on “Suppose Tomorrow, Suppose Tharoor” tagline on social media, has obtained the assist of younger leaders like Sivaganga MP Karti Chidambaram, Kishanganj MP Mohammed Jawed and Nawgong MP Pradyut Bordoloi for his nomination.

Tharoor had stated that he and Kharge are colleagues and irrespective of who wins it might be the victory of the social gathering. Kharge had additionally referred to Tharoor as his youthful brother and stated there aren’t any variations between them.

Moreover, each candidates and the social gathering have maintained that the Gandhis are impartial and that there is no such thing as a “official candidate”.

Polling course of

Over 9,000 delegates from the social gathering’s electoral faculty will solid their votes at 66 polling cubicles throughout the nation between 10 am to 4 pm on Monday. The delegated will solid their votes with a ‘tick’ mark for the candidate they assist, Madhusudan Mistry, Central Election Authority chairman of the Congress, informed information company ANI.

As per Mistry, preparations have been made for clean polling. After the polling is over, the poll bins shall be collected and despatched to Congress headquarters in Delhi, the place the counting of votes shall be held on October 19, he added.

“Poll bins will attain Delhi on October 18 and the counting of votes shall be executed on October 19. A polling sales space was arrange at AICC as properly, the place over 50 folks will vote. The entire polling course of shall be honest and free, little doubt about that,” stated Mistry.

Particular QR-coded ID playing cards for voters

For the primary time, Congress’ Central Election Authority has distributed particular QR-coded ID playing cards–on the traces of the Election Fee of India’s voter ID playing cards– to the delegates. These delegates who’ve the QR-coded ID playing cards shall be allowed to solid a vote. The social gathering has enrolled round 6 crore new members. In keeping with Congress’s information division chief, Pravin Chakravati, the ID card has been introduced in to make sure transparency.


To make sure transparency within the polling course of, the voting will happen by means of a secret poll. The Central Election Authority has dispatched the poll papers and bins to the PCC places of work, the place elaborate preparations have been made for the polling day. The key poll polling course of has been adopted to make sure that nobody will know who voted for whom.

Manifestoes and Guarantees

Each candidates have run an elaborate ballot campaigns to woo social gathering voters. The marketing campaign being run by Tharoor known as “ThinkTomorrowThinkTharoor”, whereas the official theme of Kharge’s marketing campaign is #KarykartaKharge and #KarykartaSeCongressKarykartaKharge

Kharge has stated that he didn’t have any separate ballot manifesto and his solely agenda is to implement the declaration adopted by the social gathering on the Chintan Shivir held in Rajasthan earlier within the yr. The Congress had held a three-day brainstorming session ‘Chitan Shivir’ in Might in Rajasthan’s Udaipur to evolve the social gathering’s technique for its overhaul and revival within the wake of a sequence of electoral defeats.

He promised to supply 50 per cent of social gathering posts to these under 50 years of age if he wins the ballot. Kharge stated he believed in a collective method and in taking alongside everybody, together with youth and girls and would work with all members to take the social gathering to new heights.

The octogenarian additional stated he would take efforts to resolve points regarding farmers, employees, SC, ST, OBCs, minorities and small businessmen. He additionally stated there must be a struggle in opposition to PSUs disinvestment, rising unemployment, decline in rupee worth, value rise and GST on important gadgets.

Mentioning that the situation within the nation is “dangerous”, Kharge stated he’s contesting the election for the social gathering president’s submit “to struggle in opposition to the BJP and accused the ruling social gathering of “weakening” autonomous our bodies, such because the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the revenue tax division.

In the meantime, Tharoor acknowledged that leaders like Kharge can’t carry change and can proceed the prevailing system, and promised to carry change within the social gathering as per the expectations of employees.

He prompt that the Congress should rejuvenate itself, notably by bringing in contemporary faces and younger blood into its management in any respect ranges—village, block, district and state in addition to nationwide. The Thiruvananthapuram MP proposed the decentralisation of the organisation and stated the Congress should give actual authority to the PCC presidents and empower grassroots office-bearers of the social gathering.

In his manifesto, he stated that the Congress will need to have a full-time president who’s accessible to all and prompt 5 Vice-Presidents from completely different areas. Tharoor additionally pledged to implement the Udaipur declaration together with the “one particular person one submit” rule, time period limits for social gathering positions, 50% tickets for these beneath 50, and elevated illustration for girls, youth, SC/ST/OBCs and minorities in social gathering place.

Candidates’ Profiles

With greater than 50 years of expertise in politics, Kharge has been elected MLA 9 occasions in a row and is commonly pitched as a Dalit chief by his social gathering colleagues. Kharge began his political journey as a union chief in his house district of Gulbarga, now Kalaburagi, in Karnataka, and since then has seen a sturdy rise in his political graph.

Tharoor, then again, had a high-profile diplomatic profession at United Nations earlier than getting into politics. He hails from the Nair group of Kerala and has studied at premier establishments in India and the US.

(With PTI inputs)

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