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Congress prez Polls: Polling to elect a Non-Gandhi chief today

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New Delhi, Oct 17: Congress will have a contest for the post of president on Monday with senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor in the race for the party's highest post. The voting will be held between 10 am and 4 pm and for the first time in over two decades, the party is set to elect a non-Gandhi chief.

Congress prez Polls: Polling to elect a Non-Gandhi chief on Monday

"The delegates from all states will vote at their respective polling stations with a 'tick' mark for the candidate they support. Arrangements have been made for smooth polling," ANI quoted the Central Election Authority Chairman of Congress Madhusudan Mistry as saying. "Ballot boxes will reach Delhi on Oct 18 & counting of votes will be done on October 19. Polling booth set up at AICC as well, where over 50 people will vote. The whole polling process will be fair & free, no doubt about that," he added.

There are nearly 9,300 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates, including 1,250 from Uttar Pradesh, who are eligible to vote.

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 president about 22 years ago against Sonia Gandhi in which Sonia emerged as a winner holding the mantle of the party for 20 years.

The leaders have to go to the Congress headquarters of that state to cast their vote. Apart from the Congress headquarters in the states, the voting facilities will also be available at the party's central headquarters at 24 Akbar Road. In Delhi, those delegates can cast their vote who have obtained prior permission from the Central Election Authority to cast their vote in Delhi instead of their own state.

Congress Working Committee members including Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Priyanka Gandhi and some senior leaders will vote in the booth at the Congress headquarters. About 40 delegates involved in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, including Rahul Gandhi, will be able to cast their vote in the camp itself. A polling station is being set up at the Sanganakallu campsite in Bellary.

Tharoor and Kharge will cast their votes in their respective state's headquarters Trivandrum and Bengaluru, respectively. 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.

"There's no problem with our ideology but I want to bring a change in our way of work... Mallikarjun Kharge is an experienced leader, if he wins, we'll work in cooperation naturally," Congress Presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor said ahead of the polls tomorrow.

Kharge, "It's my duty to strengthen the org & fight vindictive policies of BJP-RSS, they're dividing the country on basis of religion; they're dividing the backwards, scheduled castes, minorities. They see everything through an election point of view." "We've to fight from parliament to street. It's difficult as unemployment& inflation are there, GDP growth is falling, value of rupee is going down, petrol-diesel & essential commodities' prices are going up,' he added.

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