India

Congress clarifies Rahul Gandhi’s claim that he declared chief before the results were announced

Rahul Gandhi put himself in a bind when he called Mallikarjun Kharge the party’s new president before the results were in.

Jairam Ramesh, Congress’ general secretary in charge of communications, clarified Rahul Gandhi’s comments by saying “the voting direction was quite clear” at the time.

Criticizing “erroneous media reports”, he tweeted: “There have been erroneous media reports that Rahul Gandhi announced Kharge-ji as Congress President during his press conference at Adoni around 1 pm. Before the press conference, the direction of voting was pretty clear.”

During a press conference after the Bharat Jodo Yatra entered Andhra Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi made the comments. When asked about his role in the party following the change in guard, he said: “That’s for Kharge to comment on.” As far as my role goes, I’m very clear. My role and how I’m deployed will be decided by the president… that’s up to Kharge ji and Sonia ji.”

Results weren’t announced until about 2 pm, after the statement came around 1 pm.

In a tight contest, Mallikarjun Kharge was elected Congress president defeating Shashi Tharoor. After winning 7,897 valid votes (84.14 percent) of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates to Tharoor’s 1,072 (11.4 percent), the veteran becomes the first non-Gandhi chief of the party in nearly three decades.

 

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