The Congress’s top rung has asked all state units to pass resolutions for interim president Sonia Gandhi to nominate state unit chiefs and All India Congress Committee (AICC) members, NDTV reported quoting sources.
Pradesh Congress Committees have been requested to pass resolutions before September 20. The process of election starts from September 22; nominations can be filed between September 24 and 30 and voting is on October 17.
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This puts a question mark on the process of internal elections to be held next month, though the election of the party president may not be covered by such resolutions.
The family is learnt to be keen on a non-Gandhi party president after more than 20 years, the report adds.
Insiders say nothing stops the state delegates from passing a resolution to allow current chief Sonia Gandhi to name the next Congress president as well. But that will not be binding on the Congress Central Election Authority. “We are not a part of this process of passing resolutions,” a leader associated with the poll process told NDTV.
The last time the party saw a contest for the top post was in 2000, when senior leader Jitendra Prasad from Uttar Pradesh challenged Sonia Gandhi. She won with 99 per cent of the delegate votes. His son Jitin Prasada joined the BJP sometime back.
The election process underway
In the elections due now, five MPs, including Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari, raised concerns about the process and had written to election authority head Madhusudan Mistry, demanding “transparency, fairness” in the process.
The party agreed to a key change. Now, anyone who wants to file nomination for the president’s post will be able to see the list of all 9,000 delegates who make up the electoral college. This list will be available at the office of the election authority from September 20, Mistry had said.
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Today, Mistry told NDTV that to ensure fairness, delegates are being given ID cards with unique QR codes, which would make their details accessible for a cross-check with just a camera scan.