As per the tentative schedule the CEA has firmed up for placing before the Congress leadership, led by Sonia Gandhi, for clearance, the process of electing the new Congress President — filing of nominations, scrutiny, withdrawal if any, voting if necessary, and declaration of result — will have to be completed by October 25 in the event of more than one candidate entering the fray.
If only one candidate’s name is proposed by the newly-constituted Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) members, the formal election of that candidate will be announced as soon as the time for withdrawal gets over, which will be much before October 25.
As per the plan, Pcc Members who form the electoral college, will be asked to file their sets of nominations for the post of party chief either at the state capitals or at the AICC office from October 10.
Traditionally, 3-5 days are given for PCC members to file multiple sets of nominations.
As part of the CEA’s preparations, chairman Mullappally Ramachandran and its two members Madhusudan Mistry and Bhubaneswar Kalita, are holding a meeting of all Pradesh Returning Officers (PRIs) on Tuesday in Delhi to ensure that the entire electoral college list is ready before October 10.
Following this, various Congress state units are rushing their formal lists of new PCC members to the high command for notifying the voters’ list ahead of party chief’s election.
For decades now, most of the Congress presidents were elected unopposed. Even in a couple of ‘contests’ to the top post in the recent past, the ‘official candidate’ won hands down. In 2000, when Sonia Gandhi was challenged by former Congress vice-president Jitendra Prasada to the top post, Gandhi scored a huge victory by winning 7,448 of the total 7,771 votes against Prasada’s 94 votes (1.2%), less than even the 229 invalid votes polled then.
Similarly, two senior CWC members — Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot — suffered humiliating defeats in 1997 when they fought against incumbent Sitaram Kesri. Despite all the folklore about ‘Maratha Strongman’ Pawar, he won a mere 882 votes (over 11%) against Kesari’s 6,224 votes. Rajesh Pilot came a distant third with 354 votes.
Most political parties in India traditionally follow a “consensus course” in electing their top leader. In the 37 years of BJP’s existence, there has never been a “contest and voting” for the post of party president. CPM and CPI too elect their general secretaries through consensus.
Samajwadis used to originally settle their personal/political differences by forcing internal contests till the Janata Dal days, invariably resulting in splits. Ever since Mulayam-Akhilesh, Lalu, Nitish, Deve Gowda, Chautalas, Ajit Singh, set up their ‘one-horse carts’, the leader’s wish became the command for their colleagues in choosing the party chief.
Source : timesofindia