Faced with a commitment to keep its word, the Congress high command would be keenly watching a meeting that has created quite a buzz in the media circles. Congress’s election authority has met for a second time since the letter row broke out and is likely to wrap up its job in the next 3 months.
Congress has expedited the logistical process of electing a new party chief that is in all likelihood to be completed by January.
The Congress panel is likely to take another month and a half to clear logistics before intimating the Congress president about its decision. The new development comes close on the heels of the unprecedented revolt. Gauging the current political weather in the party, it could mark the return of Rahul Gandhi as the boss.
THE RULE BOOK
However, the panel will go by the rule book and make sure that it is following the party constitution.
“We have to send communication to every state unit and prepare our list of AICC members. This was just a preliminary meeting and in future we will meet through video conferencing but rest assured, we will follow due process and formalities and have free and fair polls,” said a source in Congress.
The party is likely to wind up the election process, call an AICC session by January before the upcoming elections in five states in 2021. The session will be more of a formality and to send a clear message to rank and file about who is the new boss.
As the tenure of the new party president is not going to be full but interim, it means the election process and subsequent result does not need the ratification by a plenary session. Around 1,400 AICC members will vote for the party president after a due election process.
RAHUL LOYALISTS IN PANEL
The manner in which Rahul Gandhi loyalists, who were earlier put in the cold storage or left the party, have been roped into the new committee, it is a clear indication that the stage is being set for Rahul Gandhi’s comeback.
Madhusudan Mistry, a Rahul Gandhi pick, is the chief of the election authority. Mohan Prakash, who earlier was removed from the post of general secretary after failures, is back in a committee for the Bihar elections. Rahul’s blue-eyed boy Ajoy Kumar who quit the party for a brief period and joined AAP is also back in action in Congress.
The Rahul Gandhi appointees are finding a way back into the party main-fold. Former Haryana president Ashok Tanwar is also getting feelers from the Rahul Gandhi camp, though the comeback for him might not be that easy considering the bitter past and his troublesome relationship with the Hoodas.
Interestingly, election of 12 members of the CWC is also on the cards. The CWC was recently reconstituted and that means the new members will have to resign within months of their being appointed to the highest decision-making body.
Party insiders feel that the leadership has also silently been able to dilute the recent rebellion by picking and choosing from the list of 22 dissenters. This includes Mukul Vasnik, who is in-charge of Madhya Pradesh and part of the coveted core group, Jitin Prasada, who is being made the West Bengal in-charge, Arvinder Singh Lovely, who has been chosen as a member of election authority amongst others.
Apart from Lovely, the election authority comprises former MP Rajesh Mishra, former Karnataka minister Krishna Byre Gowda, Lok Sabha MP Jothimani with Madhusudan Mistry as its head.