“I have been waiting a long time for this,” said Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi as she casts her vote today
New Delhi: The Congress is voting today and will choose their president. Congress will get its first non-Gandhi chief in over 20 years as only Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor are in the party’s internal elections. None of the Gandhis are contesting the polls.
Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor reaffirmed that the Gandhis are not involved. But Tharoor has pointed out “difference in treatment.” He said, “When I visited the states for campaigning, the state chiefs were ‘unavailable.’ But in many places, state Congress chiefs and legislature Party ‘welcome Mallikarjun Kharge, sit with him…’ I am not complaining, but do you not see a difference in treatment?”
Kharge has stated that he believes in collective decision-making and he will take the “guidance” of the Gandhis. “They have done good for this country. Their advice will benefit the party… so I will definitely seek their advice and support. There is no shame in it,” he had said.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi, and Congress Leader Priyanka Gandhi have cast their votes. “I have been waiting a long time for this,” said Sonia Gandhi.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot spoke on the Congress presidential election and said, “My relationship with Gandhis will be the same even after the results of the poll are announced on October 19.” He added that the day is “historic” as the party is voting for a new party chief after 22 years.
Elections are being held three years after Rahul Gandhi resigned from the leadership position following the Congress’s defeat in two consecutive elections in 2019. Despite persistent pressure from some party leaders, the 52-year-old, who is currently in charge of the party’s “Bharat Jodo” yatra, has steadfastly refused to take the reins as president.
Also Read: Kharge Vs Tharoor: Congress To Witness Contest For Top Post After 22 Years
Meanwhile, a number of senior leaders have left the party. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashwani Kumar, Sunil Jakhar, RPN Singh, and Amarinder Singh were on the list. Some of those who left stated that a circle around Rahul Gandhi makes all the decisions and alleged that he is the unofficial decision-maker.
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