Who is eligible to vote for a party president in India? Take, for example, the Indian National Congress. The Indian Express says:

Outgoing Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited party chief-elect Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence in New Delhi and congratulated him. While Kharge received 7,897 of the total 9,385 votes, his opponent, Shashi Tharoor, trailed behind with 1,072 votes. Tharoor congratulated Kharge and thanked the delegates who supported him. “It is a great honour and a huge responsibility to be President of the Indian National Congress and I wish Mallikarjun Kharge all success in that task. It was a privilege to have received the support of over a thousand colleagues, and to carry the hopes and aspirations of so many well-wishers of Congress across India,” he said.

Who were these 9385 voters? Are they elected Congress party members or are they part of the Congress Working Committee?


1 Answer 1


There is not a strict rule concerning political parties' presidents. Usually it is decided by consensus of senior representatives. But, may not be always the case. Public elections may or may not occur.

Regarding the recent election of Indian National Congress, it is dictated by the party constitution. Since party can't reach consensus (as Rahul Gandhi wants to step down), election was declared. An electoral committee was formed to oversee the process. Two candidates was selected by shortlisting.

The votes are done by AICC (All India Congress Committee) members as well as PCCs (Pradesh [aka Regional] congress committees). The committee members are elected by common, card carrying congress party members (who are in millions). Mallikarjun Kharge was elected as president, defeating Shashi Tharoor.

  • This appears more like your opinion, can you please present some citation from AICC
    – Up-In-Air
    Oct 21, 2022 at 12:37

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