Election for Congress president on Oct 17
Ending speculation, the Congress on Sunday announced that election for its president will be held on October 17 with the winner being declared two days later, asserting that it is the only party in the country which undertakes such a democratic exercise.
New Delhi: Ending speculation, the Congress on Sunday announced that election for its president will be held on October 17 with the winner being declared two days later, asserting that it is the only party in the country which undertakes such a democratic exercise.
The party, which last held the election for the post in November 2000, has often faced criticism from the BJP over dynastic politics due to the control of the Gandhi family over its affairs. Sonia Gandhi is the longest serving party president and has been at the helm since 1998 barring a two-year period between 2017-19 when Rahul Gandhi took over.
The schedule of the election was approved unanimously at an online meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) which took place amid a fresh upheaval in the party due to the shock resignation of veteran letter Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday and his stinging letter to the party president in which he lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for "demolishing the party's entire consultative mechanism".
Azad was part of the group of 23 dissident leaders who had written to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking large-scale reforms, including elections at all levels of the organisation.
The online CWC meeting was presided over by Sonia Gandhi, who is abroad for medical checkups. She was seen flanked by former party chief Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who are accompanying her abroad.
The notification for the election will be issued on September 22, while the filing of nomination would begin on September 24 and continue till September 30, the party's central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry told reporters after a nearly 30-minute meeting of the CWC.
The date of scrutiny of the nomination papers would be October 1, while the last date of withdrawal of nominations would be October 8.
The election, if there is more than one candidate, will take place on October 17, while counting of votes, if necessary, and the counting of votes and the declaration of results would be on October 19, Mistry said.
"The election schedule that was put forward by Mistry, all CWC members unanimously approved it without raising any questions or demanding an extension of dates," the party's General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said.
The Congress had announced in October last year that the election of the new party president will be held between August 21 and September 20 this year.