NEW DELHI: The Congress presidential polls are free, fair and transparent, party general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on Monday and hailed the elections as ''historic''.
He said the Congress is the only political party that has elections for the post of president and also the only one to have a TN Seshan-like central election authority chairman in Madhusudan Mistry.
Former chief election commissioner Seshan was credited with game-changing electoral reforms in the 1990s.
Ramesh said it is the sixth occasion in the 137-year-old history of the Congress that an election contest for the post of president is taking place.
Voting began on Monday in the Congress presidential polls as senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor face-off for the post of AICC chief.
Over 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates form the electoral college to pick the party chief in a secret ballot.
Voting began at 10 am at the AICC headquarters here and at party's polling booths in state offices across the country.
Kharge is considered the favourite for his perceived proximity to the Gandhis and backing by senior leaders, even as Tharoor has pitched himself as the candidate of change.