The question of transparency in the process of election of the Congress President was again raised. After Anand Sharma, another angry Congress leader Manish Tiwari demanded that the list of AICC representatives who will vote in the election of party president should be published. Manish, one of the members of G-23, a group of disgruntled Congress leaders, argued that whoever contests the presidential election should know in advance who is on the voter list.
Tiwari sneered that there is so much transparency in the selection of neighborhood clubs. He was supported by P Chidambaram’s son, Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram.
The stance of congress leaders
Congress leaders feel that if the Gandhi family nominates a staunch loyalist, the disgruntled are planning to nominate someone like Shashi Tharoor against him. Also, they are raising questions about the election process of the president. As a result, even if the trusted candidate of the Gandhi family wins, his victory will be questioned later.
Earlier, aggrieved party leader Anand Sharma questioned the list of AICC delegates at the Congress Working Committee meeting to fix the schedule for the presidential election. He alleged that there was no meeting to prepare this list of nearly nine thousand representatives, and the rules were not followed. Before Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from Congress and termed the presidential election a ‘farce’. Azad had alleged that even if none of the Gandhi family were presidents, their ‘proxies’ would be appointed to top posts.
Anand Sharma had a meeting with Ghulam Nabi last August 30. He was not present yesterday at the Himachal Pradesh manifesto launch event in Shimla.
Meanwhile, Tiwari raised the tone of the protest by raising questions about the organizational elections. Although not a member of the G-23 group, Karti Chidambaram has extended his support to Tiwari. According to him, “Any election requires a definite list of voters. The process of making that list should also be precise and transparent. An arbitrarily prepared voter list is of no value.”
Manish Tiwari’s claim, however, is rejected by AICC leader Madhusudan Mistry, who is in charge of organizational elections. He argues that the list of representatives will be handed over to those who will submit nominations for the presidential election. According to him, no party publishes the list of its representatives. Manikom Tagore, a Lok Sabha MP close to Rahul, commented, “10 members of any state Congress committee can propose anyone’s name for the presidential election. Why are my colleagues creating confusion about the selection process?”
Tiwari’s counter-argument, if you don’t know who will vote, how can anyone fight in the election? If you want to fight in the presidential election, you have to propose ten names from among those voters. A voter list is also needed to know whether those 10 are valid voters. He alleged that although the schedule for the presidential election has been announced, the schedule of the state congress committees in 28 states and eight union territories has not been announced.