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Rahul Gandhi casts his vote to elect next Congress president

Ballari: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi cast his vote to elect the new Congress president at the campsite of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Karnataka's Ballari on Monday.
The 3,500-km yatra from Kaniyakumari to Kashmir is observing a "rest day" on the 40th day of the march in Sanganakallu since its commencement on September 7. Rahul Gandhi voted at the campsite, which was the meeting room container eventually converted into a polling booth for the elections.
As per the information from Congress' Twitter, the Wayanad MP along with the 40 other Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates has been scheduled to cast their vote at the specialised booth amid the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Earlier in the day, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi, party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cast their vote for the next president of the Congress party at the All India Congress Committee headquarters in the national capital.
Voting for the party's presidential polls commenced at 10 am today and will culminate at 4 pm. Results will be declared on October 19. The fate of the Congress party will be decided by over 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates who comprise the electoral college for electing the party chief.
Congress MPs P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and other party leaders have also cast their votes at the AICC office in Delhi.
In the race for the next president of Congress, party leaders Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge are in direct contest with each other.
Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who is pitted against party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge for the post of the Congress president on Monday, said the revival of the party has begun whatever the outcome and that the fate of the Congress lies in the hands of the party workers.
Tharoor said he was confident of winning the election but acknowledged the odds against him.
He also said he had spoken to Kharge earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, Kharge also told ANI: "It is part of our internal election. Whatever we said to each other is on a friendly note. Together we have to build the party. (Shashi) Tharoor telephoned me and wished me luck and I also said the same."
As per the sources, 280 other delegates are also scheduled to cast their vote in the Delhi Congress office.
The delegates who had obtained prior permission from the Central Election Authority to cast their votes will vote in Delhi instead of their own states today.
It is not the first time that a non-Gandhi leader is contesting for the party presidency post-Independence, as Jitendra Prasad contested for the post of the president about 22 years ago against Sonia Gandhi in which she emerged as a winner holding the mantle of the party for 20 years.
Sonia Gandhi is the party's longest-serving president, having held the office for over 20 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 history that polls are being conducted to elect the national president of the party. In the 2017 elections, Rahul Gandhi became the president unopposed. (ANI)

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