Mallikarjun Kharge elected as the new president of the Congress party; PM Modi congratulates him

After India gained independence from Britain in 1947, Congress ruled the country for many years. Jawaharlal Nehru, the nation's first prime minister, was also related to the Gandhi family.

Mallikarjun Kharge elected as the new president of the Congress party; PM Modi congratulates him

In an effort to reverse its electoral slide despite the emergence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party, India's opposition Congress party picked a former minister as its first president in 24 years who was not a member of the Gandhi dynasty on Wednesday (BJP). Members chose Mallikarjun Kharge, 80, over Shashi Tharoor, a fellow politician and a former under-secretary general for communications and public information at the UN, to succeed Sonia Gandhi as leader of the formerly dominant party that was instrumental in bringing about India's independence from British rule 75 years ago.

He is the party's first Dalit leader, commonly known as "untouchables" under India's oppressive caste system. After India gained independence from Britain in 1947, Congress ruled the country for many years. Jawaharlal Nehru, the nation's first prime minister, was also related to the Gandhi family.

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