Congress draws up poll schedule, elections for party chief by October 15

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New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) The Congress has drawn up schedule of its delayed organisational polls with election of party chief expected to be completed by October 15, party sources said.

They said that Congress Working Committee could also meet by early next month to deliberate on a range of issues concerning the organisation and the electoral challenges.

The Congress has been seeking extension of time to hold organisational elections since present term of party chief Sonia Gandhi ended in 2015. The Election Commission had asked the party to complete its organisational polls by the end of this year.

Though some Congress leaders have been suggesting that party Vice President Rahul Gandhi should take over as party chief, there is no clarity on the issue.

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There is a view in the party that Rahul Gandhi could be elevated as the party chief at the culmination of the organisational polls. But there is also a view that Sonia Gandhi may decide to continue at the helm in view of enormity of electoral challenges faced by the party.

At a meeting of the CWC, the party’s highest decision-making body, in November last year, the members had unanimously expressed their “strong sentiments” that Rahul Gandhi must take over as party chief and had decided to convey their viewpoint to Sonia Gandhi.

Congress’ Central Election Authority chairman Mullapally Ramachandran told IANS that he had circulated tentative schedule of elections to state party units.

According to the schedule, election to the post of Congress president will be held between September 16 and October 15.

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The CEA has also told the party units to complete the membership drive by May 15.

As part of organisational polls, elections will be held to block Congress committees, district Congress committees, state Congress committees. AICC members will also be elected.

The organisational elections will be followed by a plenary and its date has not been decided yet.

Sonia Gandhi became party chief in 1998 and is the longest-serving president of the party. She was re-elected party chief in 2010 for a five year term.

There is also talk of organisational revamp in the party.



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