The election for the post of Congress president is unlikely to be held before February 2021. The chairman of the Congress’s Central Election Authority said the body will need at least 25 more days to initiate and complete the election process once mandated by the Congress Working Committee.
The All India Congress Committee’s (AICC) session to elect the party president and executive body members may not happen before February, indicated fresh information provided the party’s Central Election Authority (CEA).
It has come to light that the party’s CEA is yet to complete the process of preparing the voter list. The chairman of CEA, Madhusudan Mistry, told reporters that the voter list will be completed in another 20-25 days. “The CEA will need another 25 days to initiate and complete the election process once mandated by the Congress Working Committee (CWC),” Mistry said.
The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of dissent leaders like Kapil Sibal and Ghulam Nabi Azad renewing their demand to hold organisational elections from block-level and early elections to the CWC.
Facing fresh criticism from some senior leaders, the CEA members, who met physically at Congress Party headquarters in the national capital, made it clear that organisational elections for the post of president and CWC would not be possible before February.
The compilation of voter list, which has more than 1,500 AICC members is still underway in a couple of states. Madhusudan Mistry said, “Once the voter list is ready, we will send a note to the Congress president who will then take a call on the road ahead.”
This indicates that the elections for the post of Congress president would not be possible before February once it is cleared by the CWC. This will be the first such election since 2001 when Sonia Gandhi defeated her challenger Jitendra Prasad.
Mistry said that the CEA is preparing digital identification cards similar to smart cards for all the voters which will have their photos. He made it clear that elections will be held via secret ballot as it has been done in the past.
It may be noted that 2017 has been kept as the base year for membership while preparing the voter list. During the high voltage CWC held in August earlier this year, interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi assured elections for the party president and CWC within six months after a group of 23 leaders lead by Ghulam Nabi Azad had shot a letter to her demanding internal democracy in the party.
The group demanded that the party president and CWC should be chosen by conduction election and not nomination. Congress Party is functioning under an interim president since senior leader Rahul Gandhi resigned claiming moral responsibility for the poor show in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.