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.
Kharge is considered the 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”.
As voting in the Congress presidential polls got underway, outgoing party chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday said she had been waiting for a long time for this day.