Mapanna Mallikarjun Kharge (born July 21, 1942) is the current Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from Karnataka

Mallikarjun Kharge wins Congress Presidential election with 7,897 votes

New Delhi: Shri Mallikarjun Kharge was elected as the new Congress President on October 19, 2022, after he secured 7,897 out of the 9,385 votes polled. His rival, Shri Shashi Tharoor, however sprung by securing 1,072 votes. CEA Chairman Shri Mistry also announced that 416 votes were declared as invalid during the counting process.

Shri Kharge is a polyglot who knows 8 languages. He was the first Dalit barrister from Gulbarga, School headboy, Kabbadi and Hockey player, Union leader and a legal advisor.

Shri Kharge (80) is the first non-Gandhi leader in 24 years to occupy the Party’s top post. He took charge on October 26.

In almost 137-year-old history of the Congress, it was the sixth time that the Party witnessed an electoral contest for the top post. Earlier, the election for Congress President Post was held in 2000 between Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Shri Jitender Prasad. After that, Smt. Sonia Gandhi was elected unanimously for continuously 22 years. Smt. Sonia Gandhi is the longest serving President in the history of Congress Party.

Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi, accompanied by General Secretary Smt. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rajasthan Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot and Shri Shashi Tharoor were among the leaders who visited Shri Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence to congratulate him. In a tweeted message by Shri Rahul Gandhi, he said, “The Congress President represents a democratic vision of India. His vast experience and ideological commitment will serve the Party well as he takes on this historic responsibility.”

In a press conference to announce the result of the Presidential Election, Shri Madhusudan Mistry, Chairman of the Central Election Authority, said: “As per the Article XVIII (D) of the Constitution of the Indian National Congress, I, Madhusudan Mistry, hereby declare Shri Mallikarjun Kharge as the President of the Indian National Congress.”

Addressing a press conference, Shri Mallkarjun Kharge thanked Smt. Gandhi for reviving the party during her stint of over two decades and leading the party to form governments at the Centre twice and talked about working with Shri Shashi Tharoor.

Shri Kharge said “We have to together fight the threat to democracy and the Constitution. We have to fight the fascist forces that are attacking democracy and democratic institutions wearing the garb of communalism”.

Conceding defeat and congratulating Shri Kharge, Shri Shashi Tharoor, in a statement, said, “I have always expressed the view that these elections, irrespective of the outcome, must ultimately strengthen the Party. It gives me immense personal satisfaction that this has clearly been the case. Our democratic contest has galvanised vibrancy at all levels and has prompted a healthy and constructive discussion on change, which I believe will serve the party in good stead in the future”.

Amid celebrations by Youth Congress Workers at the Party headquarters, congratulatory messages poured in for the new Party Chief. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, General Secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal, Communication General Secretary Jairam Ramesh, senior leaders like Mukul Wasnik, Randeep Surjewala, Sachin Pilot were among those who congratulated new chief.

Once Shri Kharge formally takes over, the previous Congress Working Committee (CWC) will get dissolved and a Steering Committee will be formed until the next plenary or the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) session where half of the CWC members are expected to be elected by the AICC.

Overall, the election of Congress President is almost over. Now, the Party cadre is expecting the beginning of a new era in which the Congress will be strengthened and the Party will get its glory back.