Tharoor, Congress leader and member of Parliament from Kerala’s
Thiruvananthapuram, said Monday that the odds in the Congress president
elections were stacked against him and his supporters. Tharoor, 66, a former
United Nations functionary, is one of the contenders for the Congress president
post. He is up against veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the Karnataka
Congress MP widely seen as the establishment candidate.

“I’m confident.
The fate of the Congress party is in the hands of party workers. The odds have
been stacked against us as the party leaders & establishment were
overwhelmingly with the other candidate,” Shashi Tharoor told ANI as the polls
were underway.

Polling for
the Congress president elections began at 10 am on October 17. Results are scheduled
to be announced on October 19.

Also Read | Mallikarjun Kharge vs Shashi Tharoor in Congress president polls: A cheat-sheet

At the
Congress’ Delhi headquarters, the first person to cast the vote was former
minister P Chidambaram. Sonia Gandhi, Congress matriarch and the interim
president, is scheduled to cast her vote at around 11 am. Rahul Gandhi, former
Congress president and the Gandhi family scion, is currently in the middle of
the Bharat Jodo Yatra. He will cast his vote in Ballari in Karnataka.

who has projected himself as the candidate for change in the president elections,
has claimed that he has been running against some resistance during his
campaign. He has earlier said that “there are certainly aspects that imply an
uneven playing field.”

further said that Congress’ election rules state that no leader, chief minister
or Pradesh Congress Committee chief, should support or campaign for any
candidate. Tharoor made the comment after Ashok Gehlot, the Rajasthan chief
minister, put out a video message on Twitter saying: “I hope all delegates ensure
Mallikarjun Kharge’s success with a wide majority. After he is successful, he
will show us the way for Congress to become a strong opposition. This is what I
think, my best wishes are with Mr Kharge who I hopes with a big margin.”