Days after winning the race to the reign, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge is set to officially take over the party's presidency. He will be taking over the apex role from Sonia Gandhi at a ceremony that will be held on Wednesday- October 26. The transition will happen after Kharge was handed over the certificate of election as he has become the first non-Gandhi to head the party in 24 years.
The ceremony will be held at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi and the party has been making arrangements for the new beginning. Kharge will be taking over the party's presidency in the presence of senior Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi, where she will hand over the baton of leadership to her successor. Ahead of an official take-over, Kharge will pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat and he will also be visiting the memorials of former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi.
80-year-old Kharge has recently defeated his colleague Shashi Tharoor in a huge margin after a major faction of the party's electoral college voted for Kharge to take the lead. Significantly, it was the first election for the party's presidency since 2000 due to which it has drawn huge national attention. The results were announced on October 19 and it was declared that Kharge won the race. The veteran leader has been flooded with commendations from across the country amid being shouldered with a challenge of driving the party in the 2024 general elections.
At the ceremony on Wednesday, Madhusudan Mistry, the Chairman of the Central Election Authority of the Congress party, will be officially handing over the certificate of election victory to Kharge. The event will also see the presence of senior leader Rahul Gandhi, who has been holding a nationwide procession for the past few weeks. After the take over, Kharge would face a litmus test of leading the party in the crucial assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in upcoming days as these two states are being ruled by the BJP.
Kharge comes with a rich political experience from grassroots to the pinnacle as he has served in important roles in his political career both in his home state of Karnataka and at the Centre. He has become the party's choice after the Gandhis decided not to run for the top job. Under Kharge's leadership, the Congress party would contest in the assembly polls in nine states in 2024, including in Karnataka, the state where he was elected for the assembly nine times.
Kharge's elevation has come when the party is in crisis and chaos over the political defeats, exits of some bigheads, and an intra-party league against the Gandhis and their leadership. During the ceremony, the party will pass a resolution to thank outgoing president Sonia Gandhi for her contribution of leading the party.