Congress President Election LIVE: Voting begins in Kharge vs Tharoor contest

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11:09 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

Shashi Tharoor vs Mallikarjun Kharge: How Congress will pick its first non-Gandhi president in 24 years

It’s a big day for Congress. The Grand Old Party is all set to pick a non-Gandhi president in more than 24 years, as senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor are up against each other in an internal election.

The voting will take place at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) office headquarters in Delhi and 65 polling booths across the country between 10 am and 4 pm and the results will be declared on 19 October.

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11:06 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge to vote in Karnataka

Voting in the Congress Presidential election is underway on Monday in Karnataka, where party leader Rahul Gandhi and one of the candidates for the top post Mallikarjun Kharge, will be casting their votes.

Kharge, a Member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka is pitted against Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor in the polls to the party's highest post.

Rahul Gandhi will cast his vote in a meeting room container converted into a polling booth at the Bharat Jodo Yatra camp site in Sanganakallu in Ballari district, while Kharge will vote at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office in Bengaluru.

About 40 other Bharat Yatris, who are PCC delegates, will also be casting their votes at the camp site in Sanganakallu between 10am and 4 pm today, which has been declared as "Rest Day" for the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Results of the election will be declared on October 19.

PTI

10:59 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

Electors asked to put tick mark after Tharoor's team flags putting '1' may lead to confusion

Electors in the Congress presidential polls have been asked to put a tick mark against the name of their choice on the ballot paper after AICC president candidate Shashi Tharoor's team took up with the party's top poll body the issue of its earlier directive that voters write "1" to reflect their preference, citing that it may lead to confusion, sources said on Sunday.

In instructions for polling issued on Saturday, Congress central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry had said PCC Members "will mark '1' on the ballot paper against the name of the candidate and fold the ballot paper to put it into the ballot box".    

Tharoor's team took up the issue with Mistry, stating that this may confuse the voters as Kharge is on serial number 1 and Tharoor on serial number 2 on the ballot paper and writing '1' in front of the name of the preferred candidate would put the latter at a "disadvantage, the sources said.

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

PTI

10:55 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

310 delegates from Kerala to cast vote

Polling for the Congress president's post commenced at 10 AM 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 Tharoor, have openly declared their support for Kharge, the MP from Thiruvananthapuram has claimed that he has support of the youth leaders and party workers.

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

PTI

10:49 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

‘Election gives the message of internal harmony,’ says Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

10:47 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

Meeting room converted into polling booth in Karnataka

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh informed on Monday that the meeting room container in the Bharat Jodo Yatra had been converted into a polling booth for the party members to elect their new president.

This polling booth is located at the campsite of the Bharat Jodo Yatra where the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress party's 3500 kilometres yatra from Kanniyakumari to Kashmir is observing a "rest day" on the 40th day of the march in Sanganakallu since its commencement on September 7.

ANI

10:39 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

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 the national capital, said sources on Monday.

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.

ANI

10:32 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

Congress MPs cast their votes at the AICC office in Delhi

10:24 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

'I'm confident,' says Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor

“I'm 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," says Tharoor.

10:22 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

Tharoor extends best wishes to rival contender Kharge

10:20 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

Kharge vs Tharoor as Cong set for non-Gandhi president after 24 years

Senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor will face-off in an electoral contest on Monday for the post of AICC chief, as the party gets set to have a non-Gandhi president in more than 24 years.

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

While party chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are expected to vote at the AICC headquarters here, Rahul Gandhi will be voting at the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' campsite in Karnataka's Sanganakallu in Ballari along with around 40 other 'Bharat Yatris' who are PCC delegates.

PTI

10:18 (IST)

Congress President Election LIVE  

Congress presidential polls: Voting begins in Kharge vs Tharoor contest

Voting began on Monday in the Congress presidential polls as senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor face-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 am at the AICC headquarters here and at party's polling booths in state offices across the country.

Veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram was the first to cast his vote at the AICC headquarters here, sources said.

PTI

New Delhi: Senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor will face-off in an electoral contest on Monday for the post of AICC chief, as the party gets set to have a non-Gandhi president in more than 24 years.

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

Voting would start at 10 am at the AICC headquarters here and at over 65 polling booths across the country in an electoral contest which is taking place for the sixth time in the party’s 137-year history.

While party chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are expected to vote at the AICC headquarters here, Rahul Gandhi will be voting at the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ campsite in Karnataka’s Sanganakallu in Ballari along with around 40 other ‘Bharat Yatris’ who are PCC delegates.

Tharoor will cast his vote at the Kerala Congress headquarters at Thiruvananthapuram, while Kharge will do so at the Karnataka Congress office in Bengaluru.

Kharge is considered the firm favourite for his perceived proximity to the Gandhis and backing by senior leaders, even as Tharoor has pitched himself as the candidate of change.

During the campaign, even though Tharoor raised issues of uneven playing field, both candidates and the party have maintained that the Gandhis are neutral and that there is no “official candidate”.

Ahead of the polling, Kharge had said he would have no shame in taking the advice and support of the Gandhi family in running the party affairs, in case he becomes its president, as they have struggled and put their strength for its growth.

The veteran leader had said he is the “delegates’ candidate” in these polls.

Tharoor on his part took a veiled dig at some senior leaders supporting Kharge, saying some colleagues were “indulging in ‘netagiri’ and telling party workers” that they know whom Sonia Gandhi wants elected.

If anyone has “fear or doubt” in their mind, the party has made it clear that it will be a secret ballot, he had said in Lucknow on Sunday and urged the Congress delegates to listen to their hearts while voting to elect the new party president.

While the Kharge camp had shared a campaign video seeking votes for him which included visuals of him walking with Rahul Gandhi in the Bharat Jodo Yatra with the song ‘Kandhon se milte hain kandhe’ from the movie Lakshya playing in the background, Tharoor had issued a fervent video appeal on Twitter calling on electors to show courage to “embrace change”.

Tharoor had asserted that in the change he envisions, the party’s “values and loyalties” will remain the same with only the ways of achieving the goals undergoing a transformation.

Electors in the Congress presidential polls have been asked to put a tick mark against the name of their choice on the ballot paper after AICC president candidate Tharoor’s team took up with the party’s top poll body the issue of its earlier directive that voters write “1” to reflect their preference, citing that it may lead to confusion.

“The voters are instructed to put a tick mark in the box in front of the candidate whom they wish to vote for. Putting any other symbol or writing a number would make the vote invalid,” the directive from Mistry’s office had said.

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Congress President Election LIVE: Voting begins in Kharge vs Tharoor contest
Congress President Election LIVE: Voting begins in Kharge vs Tharoor contest
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