The Pradesh Congress Committee delegates will pass resolutions authorising the new Congress president to appoint state chiefs and AICC delegates, senior leader Madhusudan Mistry said on Thursday, asserting that this process will have no bearing on the party chief polls.
The Congress’ central election authority chairman also said the entire process of the election of the Congress president was, is and will always be “open” with nothing to hide.
Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Mistry reiterated that those seeking to file nominations for the post of AICC chief and wanting to select 10 PCC delegates from various states to sign on their form can either check if the person concerned has a QR code-bearing identification card or see the list of the over 9,000 delegates at the AICC’s central election authority office from September 20.
“I had said earlier and I repeat that those who had concerns that if they we want to file nominations and want support of 10 people from other PCCs, then they can check the delegates ID cards bearing a QR code. Or they can can come and see the voters list at AICC headquarters from September 20,” Mistry said.
The chairman of the authority conducting organisational elections said he held a meeting on Wednesday with pradesh returning officers to take stock of the preparations for the polls to elect the new president.
He said the over 9000 PCC delegates are being issued QR code-bearing identity cards.
“The pradesh returning officers will call a meeting of PCC delegates where they will pass resolutions to authorise the incoming president to appoint PCC presidents and AICC delegates,” Mistry said.
He said he wants to clarify that this process will have no bearing on the election of the new Congress president. The election to the Congress president will be done by the over 9,000 PCC delegates. With the passing of the resolutions by the PCC delegates, the new president will then be able to appoint state chiefs and AICC delegates.
Out of the 23 Congress Working Committee members, 12 are elected while 11 are nominated, Mistry said.
If there are more than 12 contenders for the CWC elected seats then there will be elections, he said, adding that if there is a consensus on the names of 23 members then polls may not be required.
He said the CWC election process takes place after the AICC session which is held following the election of the new Congress president.
Mistry said mostly the PCC delegates have been elected by consensus, but elections and polling were conducted in the party’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands unit.
The notification for the Congress president’s election will be out on September 22 by when all the PCC delegates will be finalised and electoral roll published and the election, if required, will be held on October 17.
The over 9,000 PCC delegates will elect the new Congress president to succeed Sonia Gandhi who is holding the top post as interim president since 2019 after Rahul Gandhi resigned as party chief, taking moral responsibility of the Congress drubbing in Lok Sabha polls.
Though efforts are on to request Rahul Gandhi to take over as party chief once again, he is reportedly not keen on the post and wants a non-Gandhi to be elected. Sources said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is the frontrunner for the top post as he enjoys both proximity and confidence of the Gandhis. However, Shashi Tharoor, who is a member of the G23 which had sought organisational overhaul and reforms in the party in a letter to the Congress president two years ago, may contest in case a non-Gandhi files nomination for the top post.
Nominations for the post of Congress president can be filed from September 24 to September 30 from 11 am to 3 pm everyday.
The last day of filing nomination is Friday, September 30, 2022 and after scrutiny of nomination papers on October 1, the last date of withdrawal of nominations is October 8.
The election campaign can be done between October 8 to 16, and in case there are more than one candidate, polling will be held at all Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters and at AICC on October 17 between 10 am and 4 pm. The counting shall take place on October 19 and the results will be declared the same day.