Shashi Tharoor says 'REVIVAL of Congress has begun today', wishes Mallikarjun Kharge 'ALL SUCCESS'
Thiruvananthapuram Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has conceded his defeat in the high-stakes party presidential election, the sixth in the party's 137-year-old history. In a statement, Tharoor said the final verdict has been in favour of Kharge. He also conveyed his best wishes to Kharge and congratulated him for his victory. "The decision of the party delegates is final and I accept it humbly. It is a privilege to be a member of a party that allows its workers to choose their president," Tharoor said.
- Shashi Tharoor has conceded defeat in Congress presidential poll
- He has congratulated his rival Mallikarjun Kharge and wished him 'all success'
- The Kerala MP said that the revival of Congress has begun today
New Delhi: Mallikarjun Kharge was on Wednesday elected the Congress president after defeating the party’s Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor in the high-stakes electoral contest, the sixth in the party's 137-year-old history. In a statement, Tharoor said the final verdict has been in favour of Kharge. He also conveyed his best wishes to Kharge and congratulated him for his victory. "The decision of the party delegates is final and I accept it humbly. It is a privilege to be a member of a party that allows its workers to choose their president," Tharoor said.
"Our new president is a party colleague and senior who brings ample leadership and experience to the table. Under his guidance, I am confident that we can all collectively take the party to new heights," Tharoor said.
It is a great honour & a huge responsibility to be President of @INCIndia &I wish @Kharge ji all success in that task. It was a privilege to have received the support of over a thousand colleagues,& to carry the hopes& aspirations of so many well-wishers of Congress across India. pic.twitter.com/NistXfQGN1 — Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 19, 2022
Karti Chidambaram, a counting agent for Tharoor, declared after the counting process was over that Kharge had won the polls and the Kerala MP had got 1,072 votes. Of the total 9,915 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates that formed the electoral college to pick the party chief in a secret ballot, over 9,500 cast their ballot at PCC offices and the AICC headquarters on Monday.
Tharoor said the party owes an "irredeemable debt" to outgoing president Sonia Gandhi, for her quarter-century of the leadership of the party and for being the anchor during our most crucial moments. "Her decision to authorise this election process, which has given us new pathways to the future, is undoubtedly a fitting testament to her sagacity and vision for our party. I hope she continues to guide, motivate and inspire the party's new leadership team in overcoming the challenges ahead," Tharoor said.
He also thanked former president Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for doing their own bit to support free and neutral elections. "The Nehru-Gandhi family has held, and will always hold, a special place in the hearts of Congress party members ? and with good reason too," he said.
The official results will be officially declared in a short while. Kharge will replace interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who has been occupying the post ever since Rahul Gandhi stepped down after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. With this, Kharge has also become the first non-Gandhi Congress president in over two decades.
While Kharge was considered the 'unofficially Gandhi family-backed candidate’ with a large number of senior leaders backing him, Tharoor pitched himself as the candidate of change. The high-stakes contest between the two veteran leaders drew a massive turnout of voters Monday with close to 96 per cent of Pradesh Congress Committee delegates casting their ballot, according to the party.
Of the 9,915 PCC delegates, 9,497 cast their votes across state capitals, including 87 at the AICC headquarters and 50 at the Yatra campsite, said Madhusudan Mistry, who is the head of the party’s Central Election Authority (CEA).