Mallikarjun Kharge was elected the Congress president beating Shashi Tharoor in a tightly fought contest.
Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi found himself in a spot on Wednesday when he referred to Mallikarjun Kharge as the party’s new president even before the results were out.
Clarifying his comments, Congress’s general secretary in-charge of communications Jairam Ramesh said that Rahul Gandhi made the comment as the “direction of voting was quite clear” by then.
Criticising “erroneous media reports”, he tweeted: “There have been erroneous media reports that Rahul Gandhi announced Kharge-ji as Congress President during his press meet that began at Adoni at around 1 pm. The fact is that the direction of voting was quite clear before the press meet began.”
Rahul Gandhi made the comments while addressing a press conference after the Bharat Jodo Yatra entered Andhra Pradesh. When asked about his role in the party following the change in guard, he said: “I can’t comment on the Congress president’s role, that’s for Kharge to comment on. I am very clear as far as my role is concerned. The president will decide what my role is and how I am to be deployed… that you have to ask Kharge ji and Sonia ji.”
The statement came around 1 pm while the results were not declared till about 2 pm.
Mallikarjun Kharge was elected the Congress president beating Shashi Tharoor in a tightly fought contest. The veteran, who won 7,897 of the valid votes (84.14 per cent) of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates to Tharoor’s 1,072 (11.4 per cent), takes over as the first non-Gandhi chief of the party in two-and-a-half decades.