Pressure mounts on AICC for internal party polls. Since 2019 AICC is evading EC
- Rahul Gandhi is not willing to contest, there is much interest in the party on who will be the next president.
- Sonia Gandhi is of the view that Ashok Gehlot and P Chidambaram be Vice Presidents one for North and the other for South.
- Other package is that D K Shivkumar be the Vice President to work under Sonia Gandhi, and Siddaramaiah be made as Chief Minister face for Karnataka.
With the Election Commission breathing down its neck to send it a list of Office-bearers, the Indian National Congress is scrambling. With Rahul Gandhi not willing to contest, there is much interest in the party as to who will be the next president.
Sonia Gandhi is of the view that Ashok Gehlot and P Chidambaram be made Vice Presidents, one for North and the other for South. The other package is that D K Shivkumar be the Vice President to work under Sonia Gandhi. And Sidharamaiha be made as Chief Minister face for Karnataka.
Lots of possibilities are being mulled
Sonia Gandhi wants her son to take over, but reluctant Rahul Gandhi does not want. He is in a serious thinking mode to reorganize the entire Congress after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
AICC leader Madhusudan Mistry, the Chairman of the Central Election Authority is said to have written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, proposing the timeline for the election process.
Reason for urgency – EC notice to AICC
Next week Madhusudan Mistry is meeting the Election Commission officials in New Delhi to explain the delay in holding organizational elections due to the ongoing Enforcement Directorate investigations on National Herald and that both Sonia and Rahul were busy in preparations. Hence the delay. EC, if refused to accept this as a reason to hold the internal organizational polls in AICC. Congress has a plan to convene CWC.
Now the Congress Party polls will be held between August 20 and September 7, before the Bharat Yatra.
Sources said the leadership is keen on completing the election process before the start of the Bharat Yatra on Sept 7.
According to the broad schedule, the party has to elect a new president between Aug 21 and Sept 20.
Sonia is expected to convene a meeting of the Congress Working Committee to approve the timeline.
While some leaders believe Sonia will be persuaded to continue, many others argue the status quo will be disastrous. G-23 being ineffective and redundant, the seniors feel the right time to name Sonia Gandhi again as the Chief.
Among the names doing the rounds include that of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot as Vice President and also P Chidambaram for the South.
But the internal debate at AICC is that D K Shiv Kumar be brought and Sidharamaiah be made as Chief Minister face for Karnataka.
Amid continuing uncertainty over Rahul Gandhi’s keenness to lead the party as Congress chief, the party may decide to advance its organizational elections and kickstart the nomination process by August 20, and the withdrawal of nomination by September 3.
A meeting of the Congress Working Committee is likely soon and a decision on advancing the elections of the Congress president is expected to be formalized.
Sources said a proposal to file nominations between August 20 and 27, withdraw candidature by September 3, and hold elections, if needed, on September 5, is likely to be put before the working committee for its approval.
Originally, Congress had said the election of the party president would be completed by September 20, when the five-year term of the earlier president ends. Even as election day looms, the question of who should lead the party continues to confound Congress’s rank and file, especially since Gandhi has maintained that he remains unwilling to don the mantle of party chief.
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