Outgoing Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday visited veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge's residence and congratulated him on winning the party presidential poll with a huge margin.

Kharge, the first non-Gandhi president in over two decades, was declared the winner after he garnered 7,897 votes against his rival Shashi Tharoor who could secure only 1,072.

A total of 416 votes were declared invalid.

Sonia congratulates Kharge on winning Cong prez polls
Sonia congratulates Kharge on winning Cong prez pollsIANS

Soon after the result was declared, Kharge's supporters broke into dance and burst crackers outside the AICC headquarters here.

He is likely to take charge next week a day after Diwali (October 25).

Tharoor congratulates Kharge

Runner-up in the Congress president poll, Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday thanked his supporters, and said that the elections will galvanise the party and its revival has begun.

"I have always expressed the view that these elections, irrespective of the outcome, must ultimately strengthen the party. It gives me immense personal satisfaction that this has clearly been the case. Our democratic contest has galvanised vibrancy at all levels and has prompted a healthy and constructive discussion on change, which I believe will serve the party in good stead in the future," he wrote in a letter.

He thanked his volunteer team of party colleagues "for their amazing efforts against impossible odds to keep our campaign going and congratulated the Chief Election Authority, Madhusudan Mistry, and his colleagues for their efforts to make this possible."

Shashi Tharoor
Thiruvananthapuram : Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor casting his vote for presidential election in KPCC office in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, October 17, 2022. (Photo: Arun chandrabos/IANS)IANS

"It is our duty to lead the nation to the bright democratic future envisaged by the founders of our Republic. The ideals of a pluralist, prosperous and egalitarian India that inspired Mahatma Gandhi, Nehruji and Dr Ambedkar must be fought for with renewed determination in the face of the onslaught on our most precious values by the ruling party and the forces it has unleashed," he added.

Tharoor said he looks forward to working with his Congress colleagues to face the challenges ahead.

"I believe the revival of our party has truly begun today," Tharoor said after losing to Mallikarjun Kharge.

Rahul Gandhi's post in the party

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that he will report to the new Congress president who will decide his role in the party.

Rahul Gandhi
Rahul GandhiIANS

He told reporters at Adoni during Bharat Jodo Yatra that the Congress president will be the final authority and he will decide how the party is going to move forward.

"He will decide what will be my role and how I am to be deployed," the Congress MP said before the announcement of the result of the AICC presidential election.

He declined to answer queries on the role of the president, saying the new president would comment on it.

"As far as the Congress party is concerned, the president will be the final authority. We will have a new Congress president who will decide how the Congress party moves forward," Rahul said.