Congress’s central election authority issues notification for AICC president polls | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Will Congress finally have a non-Gandhi president? If that happens, it will be a first since 2000. Come October 19 and we will have a definitive answer as the party has set the ball rolling for electing the successor to the longest-serving chief Sonia Gandhi.
In the notification issued on Thursday, chairman of the central election authority Madhusudan Mistry, under the power vested in him by provision of Article XVIII of the constitution of the Indian National Congress, announced the election of the president of the party to be held as per the given schedule.
According to the notification, the process for filing nominations for the election will be held from September 24 to 30.
The date of scrutiny of the nomination papers would be on 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. The counting of votes and the declaration of results would be on October 19.
“Now therefore, I hereby call upon the delegates of the Congress Party to elect the President of Indian National Congress in accordance with the provision made under Article XVIII,” Mistry said in the notification.
The nomination form will be available at the AICC Office, 24 Akbar Road, New Delhi, according to the notification.
Ashok Gehlot: Rajasthan CM as well as Congress president?
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot is being seen as the preferred choice of the Gandhis for the Congress president. But will he quit as the Rajasthan CM? Gehlot on Wednesday asserted that there is no bar on a person becoming the party chief while being a minister or CM.
Gehlot said party presidency is an elected post and the ‘one-man-one-post’ principle is for nominations. “Where it’s a nomination, there it is two posts. But this is an open poll. Anyone out of the 9,000 PCC members can contest, be it an MP, MLA or CM or minister. If it is a minister, he can be a minister and also Congress chief,” he said. He also said he would present the 2023 budget.
However, party veteran Digvijaya Singh told TOI, “If he becomes the party chief, he will have to quit as CM, as per the Udaipur declaration.”
Buzz over Tewari and Kharge, but all eyes on Rahul
Amid lingering “will Rahul, won’t Rahul” uncertainty, there were indications his final refusal to enter fray may lead more partypersons to throw their hat in the ring. On a day when Sonia Gandhi held discussion with Ashok Gehlot, party circles were abuzz with speculation of vocal dissident Manish Tewari and a veteran joining Shashi Tharoor and Gehlot in the fray. The news that Mallikarjun Kharge was going to Kerala for Bharat Jodo Yatra reinforced speculation.
While Digvijaya Singh’s remark “why I am being ruled out as a contestant”, led to sensation, sources sought to tamp down the excitement by suggesting it was just an off-the-cuff quip to parry a query about whom he preferred between Gehlot and Tharoor.
Historic polls
The upcoming polls would certainly be historic as the new president would replace Sonia Gandhi, the longest-serving party president who has been at the helm since 1998, barring the two years between 2017 and 2019 when Rahul Gandhi took over.
The party last saw a contest for the post in November 2000. Jitendra Prasada had lost to Sonia Gandhi in 2000 and prior to that Sitaram Kesri had defeated Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot in 1997.
(With inputs from agencies)





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