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Kharge vs Tharoor in Cong Prez Polls: A Look at Their Priorities, Promises If Elected Party Chief

By: News Desk

Edited By: Saurabh Verma

News18.com

Last Updated: October 15, 2022, 11:45 IST

New Delhi, India

The Congress presidential poll is scheduled to take place on October 17, and the results will be declared two days later. (PTI Photos)

The Congress presidential poll is scheduled to take place on October 17, and the results will be declared two days later. (PTI Photos)

Tharoor has released a poll manifesto outlining his priorities while Kharge said that his only agenda is to implement the party’s Udaipur declaration. Kharge’s nomination is reportedly backed by the Gandhi family choice, giving him an edge over Tharoor

With only two days left, the stage is set for a contest between veteran Mallikarjun Kharge and high-profile MP Shashi Tharoor for the Congress presidential election, the first in over two decades. While the polling will be held on October 17, the votes will be counted on October 19 and the results will be declared the same day. More than 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates will vote in the poll.

Tharoor had said that he and Kharge are colleagues and no matter who wins it would be the victory of the party. Kharge had referred Tharoor as his younger brother and said there are no differences between them.

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Tharoor has released a poll manifesto outlining his priorities while Kharge said that his only agenda is to implement the party’s Udaipur declaration. As the two leaders gears for the contest, here’s a look at promises and priorities of both leaders if elected Congress president.

Udaipur Declaration a Priority for Kharge

Congress presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge has that he did not have any separate poll manifesto and his only agenda is to implement the declaration adopted by the party at the Chintan Shivir held in Rajasthan earlier in the year. The Congress had held a three-day brainstorming session ‘Chitan Shivir’ in May in Rajasthan’s Udaipur to evolve the party’s strategy for its overhaul and revival in the wake of a series of electoral defeats.

He promised to offer 50 per cent of party posts to those below 50 years of age if he wins the poll. Kharge said he believed in a collective approach and in taking along everyone, including youth and women and would work with all members to take the party to new heights.

The octogenarian further said he would take efforts to resolve issues concerning farmers, workers, SC, ST, OBCs, minorities and small businessmen. He also said there should be a fight against PSUs disinvestment, rising unemployment, decline in rupee value, price rise and GST on essential items.

Pointing out that the condition in the country is “bad”, Kharge said he is contesting the election for the party president’s post “to fight against the BJP and accused the ruling party of “weakening" autonomous bodies, such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the income tax department.

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Tharoor’s Poll Manifesto

Stating that leaders like Kharge cannot bring change and will continue the existing system, Tharoor promised to bring change in the party as per expectations of workers.

He suggested that the Congress must rejuvenate itself, particularly by bringing in fresh faces and young blood into its leadership at all levels—village, block, district and state as well as national.

He proposed the decentralisation of the organistion and said the Congress must give real authority to the PCC presidents and empower grassroots office-bearers of the party.

In his manifesto, he said that the Congress must have a full-time president who is accessible to all and suggested five Vice-Presidents from different regions.

He also pledged to implement Udaipur declaration including the “one person one post” rule, term limits for party positions, 50% tickets for those under 50, and increased representation for women, youth, SC/ST/OBCs and minorities in party position.

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Kharge vs Tharoor an Uneven Contest?

Kharge’s nomination is reportedly backed by the Gandhi family choice, giving him an edge over Tharoor. Several senior party leaders including AK Antony, Ashok Gehlot, Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik, Abhishek Singhvi, Ajay Maken, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Digvijaya Singh, Tariq Anwar, Salman Khurshid, Pramod Tiwari, PL Punia, Rajeev Shukla, Prithviraj Chavan, and Manish Tewari have backed Kharge’s nomination. Tharoor has also admitted that in most states, except in Madhya Pradesh recently, senior leaders have rallied behind Kharge and said that the open support to his rival candidate has disturbed the level-playing field.

Tharoor, who is building his campaign on “Think Tomorrow, Think Tharoor” tagline on social media, has received the support of young leaders like Sivaganga MP Karti Chidambaram, Kishanganj MP Mohammed Jawed and Nawgong MP Pradyut Bordoloi for his nomination.

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first published:October 15, 2022, 10:32 IST
last updated:October 15, 2022, 11:45 IST
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