Countdown begins for new Congress chief, party says it will stick to schedule

As the countdown for the election of the Congress president begins, the party’s election authority on Sunday said it will stick to the schedule for electing a new president till September 20.

party center president Election Authority Madhusudan Mistry said it is up to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to approve the last date for the election, which could be any day between August 21 and September 20.

However, sections of the party did not rule out delaying the internal election process, given the reluctance Rahul Gandhi Congress’s current focus on contesting for the top post, lack of a ‘Plan B’ and organizing a ‘Bharat Jodi Yatra’ next month. The CWC had decided that the election of one member each for Block Committees and State Congress Committee would be held from April 16 to May 31; The election of the President and the Executive Committee of the District Committee will be held from June 1 to July 20, the election of PCC chiefs and members of the AICC from July 21 to August 20 and the President of the AICC from August 21 to September 20.

“We will stick to the schedule. We have already sent the election schedule to the party leadership and are awaiting the approval of the CWC which will decide the last date for the election of Congress President.

When asked whether the organizational elections at the level of Block, District and State Congress Committees have been completed, he said that the process has been completed. Maestri, however, said the election authority was in the process of finalizing the AICC representatives who would vote in the crucial election for the party’s top post.

“The exact date will be finalized by the working committee,” he said, adding that a meeting of the party’s top decision-making body would be held soon. Even as Mistry insisted that the election authority would stick to the election schedule, the party appeared in the dark on potential candidates for the main race, with former chief Rahul Gandhi continuing to display his reluctance to contest.

However, some sections of the party did not rule out delay in the internal election process due to Rahul Gandhi’s reluctance. The leaders said the party’s focus is also on the ‘Bharat Jodi Yatra’, which is to begin on September 7, in which Rahul Gandhi is expected to flag off the program from Kanyakumari.

A senior party leader said, “With Rahul Gandhi not interested in the top job and the dates and preparation schedules of the Bharat Jodi Yatra clashing with the already approved plan for the election of Congress President, it remains to be seen whether Internal elections will be held on time.” , A meeting of the India Jodi Scheme was also held on Sunday regarding its plan.

Sonia Gandhi and the party are saying that by September 20, the Congress will get its new president. Meanwhile, it is learned that the G-23 is keeping a close watch on the election process and its transparency.

A group of prominent stalwarts including former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and his deputy Anand Sharma, besides Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Manish Tewari have been pushing for the right election from the block to the CWC level. As the internal elections began, efforts to reach out to senior leaders to gauge the party’s mood went in vain and most leaders said they were unaware of the plan.

To date, there is no clarity on whether Rahul Gandhi would agree to run for the post of Congress president, with large sections of the party noting that he seemed “indifferent”. Whether this will change will probably determine the exact schedule for the election of the Congress President, with most party leaders wanting Rahul Gandhi to shirk responsibility, even if he is evading responsibility.

In May 2019, Sonia Gandhi agreed to become the interim president of the party after Rahul Gandhi resigned following the defeat of the Congress in the general elections. Even at that time, a comprehensive CWC consultation had supported Rahul Gandhi’s continuation and urged him to do so. After she refused, the highest decision-making body of the party requested Sonia Gandhi to step in.

For several months after May 2019, there was complete silence in Congress circles over the election of a full-time party chief until the end of July 2020, when G-23 leaders in a letter to Sonia Gandhi called on Sonia Gandhi to revive the party. Demanded immediate elections at levels. Its falling electoral fortunes. Subsequently, on 16 October 2021, the CWC approved a tentative schedule for internal elections, culminating in the election for the highest office in the party – that of Congress President.

Meanwhile, there appears to have been no formal discussion in the Congress on a non-Gandhi for Sonia Gandhi’s successor, with some leaders saying the current chief could continue at the top post if this liquidity situation persists. Huh.

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