Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated Mallikarjun Kharge on being elected the Congress party president. “My best wishes to Shri Mallikarjun Kharge Ji for his new responsibility as President of @INCIndia. May he have a fruitful tenure ahead. @kharge,” PM Modi wrote on Twitter.
Kharge became the first non-Gandhi Congress president in 24 years, defeating Shashi Tharoor. He will take charge of the new role on October 26, said party MP Randeep Surjewala.
Congress’s central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry announced Kharge’s name after the counting of votes and said that of the total 9,385 votes polled in the Congress president poll, Kharge got 7,897 votes and Tharoor received 1,072 votes. The rest of the 416 votes were declared invalid.
In his first address after being elected the Congress president, Kharge thanked outgoing party chief Sonia Gandhi on behalf of all party workers. He said that she “sacrificed many years of her life for the grand old party”.
“I want to thank Sonia Gandhi on behalf of all party workers. Under her leadership, we formed our government at the Centre twice,” he said.
Kharge further congratulated his opponent in the election, Tharoor. “I want to congratulate my partner Shashi Tharoor as well. I met him and discussed how to take the party forward,” he said.
“We all have to work like workers of the party, nobody is big or small in the party. We have to unitedly fight against the fascist forces that are attacking the democratic institutions under the garb of communalism,” he added.