With the support of the leadership at all levels as the unofficial official nominee, Mallikarjun Kharge is certain of winning with a resounding victory. Shashi Tharoor, his opponent, is relying on the secret ballot, or as his campaign refers to it, the “hidden” or “silent” support of those seeking reform in the party.
One of the two contenders, Shashi Tharoor, claimed that regardless of the outcome of the last showdown between top leaders of the Congress party for the position of party chairman. Salman Soz, a party associate of Tharoor’s, praised the “courage against heavy odds” and the “determination of our dedicated volunteers.”
Emotions in Kharge and Tharoor’s campaigns were very different as the Congress cast its ballots Monday to choose its next leader—the party’s first non-Gandhi leader in over 25 years. Extreme confidence could be found on one side and cautious optimism on the other.
After more than 24 years, Congress will elect a non-Gandhi president now that Sonia, Rahul, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are not running. The electoral college, made up of over 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates, chooses the party leader in a confidential vote.
Tharoor said in another tweet, “Some people play safe in order not to lose. But if you just play safe, you will definitely lose.”
While admitting the odds were stacked against him, he expressed optimism in winning the election. In an interview with reporters in his hometown of Thiruvananthapuram Tharoor said “the odds have been stacked against us as the party leaders and establishment were overwhelmingly with the other candidate.”