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New Congress President Likely To Be Announced Today, As Vote Counting Begins

Congress is very close to get its first non-Gandhi party president in more than 20 years as vote counting for the same will begin shortly. Mallikarjun Kharge who is more in demand is facing Shashi Tharoor.

The counting is scheduled to take place at 10 am today at the Congress headquarters in Delhi, where the sealed ballot boxes from across the country have been brought. On Monday, almost 9,915 leaders had voted during the presidential elections for electing new party president.

It seems like Mr Kharge is on the top demand to become the president raising speculation that if he wins, the party will still be under full control of Gandhis.

However, Congress has explicitly denied such speculations. “These (allegations) are all used by critics… Two competent individuals are competing… Every effort is being made to keep it a free, fair polls,” party’s General Secretary-in-Charge of Communications told media.

Despite both the opponents have maintained that the party is conducting fair elections, Mr Tharoor however said, ” the odds have been stacked against us as the party leaders and establishment were overwhelmingly with the other candidate”.

These presidential elections happened three years after Sonia Gandhi took over as the interim chief of the party as Rahul Gandhi had stepped down from the top post taking blame for the two consecutive defeats.

Mr Kharge was persuaded to contest against Mr Tharoor at the last minute after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who was earlier to contest changed his decision.

Ever since the Independence, Congress was being led by one or the other member of Gandhi family. Elections were held just 6 times as there was more than one contestant – beginning in 1939 when P Sitaramayya, supported by Mahatma Gandhi, lost to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

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