February 25, 2021

Simply put: electing the President of Congress

On July 3, 2019, Rahul Gandhi publicly announced his decision to step down as Congress President, accepting moral responsibility for the tragic scene of the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections that May. On August 11, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) appointed Sonia Gandhi as interim chairperson, despite Rahul’s suggestion that someone from outside the Gandhi family should lead the party.

Despite more than a year and a half of domestic unrest, Congress is still without a full-time president. When Sonia set up a Central Electoral Commission last August, it set up the electoral process. But the CWC, which met on January 22 this year, decided to postpone the exercise until June in view of the forthcoming assembly elections in four states.

It is not yet clear whether Rahul will return as Congress president. In his 2019 open letter, he said, “Tough decisions are needed to rebuild the party, and many will be held accountable for the failure of 2019.” It is unclear whether anyone has been held accountable.

When was the last corporate election held in Congress?

That was in 2017 after a gap of seven years. At the 83rd plenary meeting in Purari in December 2010, the party amended its constitution to provide for institutional elections every five years (three years ago). The party has extended the term of its president from three years to five years. So, the 2017 elections were actually supposed to take place in 2015.

According to the Congress Constitution, elections are to be held from the primary committee – at the booth level – for the post of Congress President. But often, an election in the true sense is avoided and the president and committees are appointed by consensus at all levels of the party. In the case of Rahul, too, there was no challenge and he was selected without contest. However, the Central Election Commission has come up with a detailed schedule, including deadlines for filing nominations, withdrawals, scrutiny and so on. According to the Congress Constitution, “any ten delegates may jointly nominate any representative for election as President of Congress. . ” 📣 Express explained Is now Telegraph. Click Join our channel here (exiexplained) Update on the latest

Only twice in the last 40-odd years have elections been held in the true sense. Jitendra Prasad last contested against Sonia in 2000. He was defeated by 94 votes to 7,448. In 1997, Sitaram Kesri easily defeated heavyweight Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot, getting 6,224 votes against Pawar’s 882 and Pilot’s 354. Since 2000, Sonia and Rahul have never faced a challenge.

What will happen in June?

According to the Congress Constitution, “In the event of an emergency for any reason, such as the death or resignation of the President-elect, the Secretary-General shall continue to carry out his usual duties until appointed by the Executive Committee.” The interim president is pending the election of a regular president by the AICC. ”

The CWC appointed Sonia as interim president. Therefore, a regular president should be appointed for the remainder of the term. With corporate elections set to take place in 2022, the term of a regular president is about one and a half years.

The President is elected by the Election College of Representatives of the Divisional Congress Committee (PCC) and the party leaders are appointed by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) as a regular President, meaning that the Electoral College consists only of AICC members. In 2017 there were about 9,000 odd PCC representatives; The AICC is expected to have about 1,500 members.

According to the Congress Constitution, the AICC “has one-eighth the number of PCC members elected among themselves by proportional representation under the single transfer voting system”. Four members each will be selected from Chandigarh, Andaman & Nicobar, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep divisions. The party has a leader in parliament, its leaders in the legislature, 15 members elected by Congress in parliament and members of the CWC from special sections.

Why the delay in the Congress presidential election?

The party said the CWC had decided to postpone assembly elections in Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. But some in the leadership think it is not yet clear whether Rahul has agreed to run for president again (those closest to him say he is ready).

The leadership is under pressure from the group of influential leaders, popularly known as the G-23, to hold elections for the CWC and the Central Electoral Commission, which will finalize party candidates for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. After the CWC meeting, AICC general secretary (organization) KC Venugopal said the party was ready to hold the CWC elections, but asked, “Can the Congress presidential election and the executive committee be one, or the Congress president? After the election, an executive committee election must be held. ”

Why are CWC and CEC elections important?

The CWC is the party’s “highest executive authority”. According to the Congress Constitution, the CWC will have a party leader, its chairman in parliament and 23 members, 12 of whom will be elected by the AICC, with the rest appointed by the president.

In the last 50 years, Congress leaders say, real elections have been held only twice for the CWC. In both cases, a person outside the Nehru-Gandhi family presided – B.V. Narasimha Rao during the AICC full show in Tirupati in 1992 and Kesri during the 1997 full show in Kolkata. In April 1998, Sonia, the Congress president, always nominated CWC members. The CEC is also a long-recommended organization.

G-23 leaders hope the CWC and CEC elections will end the culture of support in the party. They also demanded the renewal of the powerful Congress Parliamentary Board (which was rejected during the Narasimha Rao era) to make decisions on “collective thinking” and organizational matters, policies and plans. The party constitution states that the CWC “shall form a Parliamentary Board consisting of the President and nine members, one of whom shall be the Chairman of the Congress Party in Parliament”; The Congress leader will chair the committee.

The CEC “will be set up with nine other members elected by the AICC to finalize the candidates for the state and federal legislatures and to conduct election campaigns.” In other words, the election to the CEC will first require the constitution of the Parliamentary Board.

The effort is to ensure collective leadership. In Congress today, the first and last word is the word of the Gandhians. If 12 of the 25 members of the CWC are elected, it is hoped that the Congress leader will not remove them at will. Half of these elected CWCs will then form the Parliamentary Board. Half of the members of the CEC will be members of this Parliamentary Board, while the other half will be members of the AICC.

In 1992, after the victory of some of his opponents like Arjun Singh, Pawar and Pilot, Rao had to resign from the entire CWC claiming that no SC, ST, or woman was elected. He then reshuffled the CWC and added Singh and Pawar to the recommended category.