Election of Mallikarjun Kharge as Congress President by a comfortable number of votes — he polled 7897 votes against Shashi Tharoor’s 1072 — was on expected lines. Kharge with blessings of the Gandhis had to win. Except that Tharoor had hoped to poll about 2000 to 2,500 and that did not happen. After all, he had campaigned extensively in four states. He was hoping to tap on the latent discontent within the party. That is why party MP Karti Chidambaram backing Tharoor remarked “We are very pleased that we crossed the four digit mark – 1,072 votes”. In 2000, when Jitendra Prasada contested against Sonia Gandhi, he had polled a paltry 94 votes against Sonia’s 7,400 votes. In 1997, when Sitaram Kesri was elected party chief, he had polled 6,224 votes, Sharad Pawar 882 and Rajesh Pilot 354. Little wonder, Tharoor who lost the elections felt that the revival of the party “has truly begun today“. After all, winning trust of 1000-plus delegates is no small achievement. Meanwhile in poll-bound Himachal there is rush to file nominations as the last date for filing papers is October 25, day on which the solar eclipse falls. With Diwali holidays and the eclipse, candidates have no choice of good muhurat. Denial of nomination to a sitting Kinnaur MLA Jagat Singh Negi is also irking party leaders. Rahul Gandhi’s aide Krishna Allavaru is reportedly pushing for a Youth Congress pick.