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Congress Presidential Election: Was waiting for a long time for this day, says Sonia Gandhi

These Congress presidential polls are significant as the new president -- either Mallikarjun Kharge or Shashi Tharoor -- would replace Sonia Gandhi, the longest-serving party chief.

Congress Presidential Election: Was waiting for a long time for this day, says Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi: As Congress members queued up across the country on Monday (October 17, 2022) to elect their new president, choosing between senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor, outgoing party chief Sonia Gandhi said she had been "waiting for a long time for this day". Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra came together at the AICC headquarters in Delhi to cast their votes.

When asked by reporters about the Congress presidential polls, Sonia Gandhi said, "I have been waiting for a long time for this day."

These polls are significant as the new president would replace Sonia Gandhi, the longest-serving Congress chief, who has been at the helm since 1998, barring the two years between 2017 and 2019 when Rahul Gandhi took over.

Earlier in the day, former prime minister Manmohan Singh also cast his ballot in the polls at the party headquarters. Veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram was reportedly the first to cast his vote at the AICC headquarters.

Several other senior leaders such as general secretary Jairam Ramesh, Ambika Soni, Ajay Maken and Vivek Tankha, among others, also cast their votes at the party headquarters.

Rahul Gandhi, who is currently leading the Bharat Jodo Yatra, also voted at a meeting room container converted into a polling booth in Ballari in Karnataka.

Congress Presidential Election: Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor face off for the post 

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.

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

The results will be declared on October 19.

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