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Opinion

Congress will reaffirm the election plan in January

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A congressional panel tasked with holding organizational elections is likely to sign the internal election schedule in the first week of January, people familiar with the matter said.

A member of the central electoral authority (CEA) said the panel was supposed to announce the schedule by the end of December, but it was delayed as efforts are still being made to reach a consensus on the presidential candidate. He said Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with party leaders, including some members of the group of 23 letter writers, was part of that consensus.

“What we understand is that there is broad consensus among party leaders on the name now. We will meet in the first week of January and finalize the schedule, “said the CEA member on condition of anonymity.

Once this is done, the Congressional Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, will meet to clarify that.

At Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with dissidents and other high-ranking leaders at her 10th residence, Janpath on December 19, there was a renewed call for Rahul Gandhi to return as party head.

While Rahul Gandhi said it would not be appropriate to interfere in the ongoing internal election process, the dissenters are adamant that they will not accept a “delegate” candidate and insisted that voting must take place at all levels, including the CAQ.

According to the constitution of the Congress, 12 of the 25 members of the CWC are to be elected by the delegates of the Indian Congress Committee (AICC) and the rest are appointed by the chairman of the party.

The CWC has not witnessed an election in more than two decades. The last time there was an election for the CWC was in 1997 during the Kolkata plenary. Before that, the CWC elections took place in 1992 in the Tirupati session.

The CEA member quoted above said the panel is expected to finish the organizational elections by the end of February according to the deadline to inform the Electoral Commission of the completion of the process.

He said that in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the CEA has decided to restrict the electoral college to only AICC members. “We will not include co-opted members this time. So the electoral college will have around 800 members only, ”he added.

The CEA member said that the digital IDs of the AICC members are almost ready to allow the panel to hold a virtual session in case it is difficult to have a physical presence for such a convention due to Covid-19.

The five-member CEA is headed by Madhusudan Mistry and its members are Rajesh Mishra, Krishna Byre Gowda, S Jothimani and Arvinder Singh Lovely, one of 23 signatories to a letter written to Sonia Gandhi in August this year seeking a review. full party. and full-time leadership to halt the steady decline of the 135-year-old organization.

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