Tharoor upbeat about chances in Cong prez polls, says party revival already begun

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor cast his vote for the party presidential post, which he is contesting, in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday expressed confidence in his chances of winning the party presidential election.

"Everything that can be done has been done. Whatever the outcome, Congress will work together as a unit. The party's revival has begun," Tharoor said.

He also clarified that this election was not for any personal gain, but "for the betterment of the party and by extension, the country."

Tharoor is contesting against party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge. Neither belongs to the Gandhi family.

It is after 24 years that the Congress party is preparing to accept a president outside the Gandhi family.

The lawmaker from Thiruvananthapuram cast his vote at the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters.

Shortly after, he took to Twitter to say that a fight was necessary so that history will remember them as not mute spectators.

Tharoor said that even Priyanka Gandhi believed that the contest had invigorated the party, at all levels.

It is no secret that the Congress party has been in a state of decline for a long time now.

Tharoor's '#ThinkTomorrowThinkTharoor' campaign, which promised sweeping changes in the party, had struck a chord with many Congress workers.

However, the party leadership in Kerala had thrown their lot with Kharge labelling him as an 'official' candidate.

This comes despite the Gandhi family making clear that they will remain neutral in this election.

However, Tharoor mentioned on Sunday that he expects at least 100 votes from Kerala, his state.

Over 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates form the electoral college to pick the party chief in a secret ballot.

There are a total of 68 polling booths across the country. Voting, which is already underway, will end at 4 pm.

The results will be announced on Wednesday.

At a glance

Mallikarjun Kharge (80)

Rajya Sabha former Opposition leader; Karnataka native

More than half a century with Congress

9 times MLA, 2 times Lok Sabha member, Rajya Sabha member at present

2014- 19 Congress Lok Sabha party leader

Rail, Labour Minister with the second UPA government  

Shashi Tharoor (66)

Palakkad native with an international image; Thiruvananthapuram MP since 2009

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Resources with the second UPA Government

29  years with the United Nations. He has even become the Under Secretary General

Candidate for the UN Secretary-General election in 2007

Entered- politics through Congress in 2009

Former chairperson of the IT standing committee of the Parliament. At present, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilisers.

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