New Delhi [India]: A total of 75 delegates from the Cong 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 Cong 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.
In the race for a new face of the party, the Congress is conducting its presidential elections today with the voting set to start at around 10 am.
After 22 years the Congress is all set to witness a contest for the president post with senior party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor pitted against each other to lead the party with new vigour so as to fulfil the aim of defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
It is not the first time that a non-Gandhi leader is contesting for the party presidency post-Independence, Jitendra Prasad contested for the post of the president about 22 years ago against Sonia Gandhi in which Sonia emerged as a winner holding the mantle of the party for 20 years.
Sonia Gandhi is the longest-serving president of the party, having held the office for over twenty years from 1998 to 2017 and since 2019.
This time no member of the Gandhi family is contesting for the post of President.
This is the sixth time in its nearly 137-year-old history that polls are being conducted to elect the national president of the party.
In the 2017 elections, Rahul Gandhi became the president unopposed.
About 40 delegates involved in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, including Rahul Gandhi, will be casting their vote in the camp itself as the meeting room container in the Bharat Jodo Yatra (which is observing its ‘rest day’ today) was 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 Cong 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.
A polling station is being set up at the Sanganakallu campsite in Bellary.
While the two contestants Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge will cast their votes in their respective state’s headquarters Trivendram and Bengaluru.
After voting, the ballot boxes from all the states will be brought back to Delhi where the results will be announced after the counting of votes on October 19.