28 August 2022
Anyone can file nomination for the post of Congress President. This is democracy only in our party.
Jairam Ramesh, Congress leader
31 August 2022
‘How will there be a fair election without making the voter list public? This doesn’t happen even in club elections!’
Manish Tewari, Congress leader
In the earlier statement, Jairam Ramesh said this while announcing the voting for the post of Congress President on 17 October, but 3 days later on 31 August, Congress leader Manish Tewari raised questions on the fairness of the election. He has demanded to release the list of PCC members who voted in the election of Congress President.
In such a situation, today we will tell in the explainer that after all who can contest the election of Congress President and which people choose him, why Manish Tewari is raising questions on the fairness of the election…
Question: How is the organization of Congress, what is AICC and PCC?
Answer: To know the politics and process of the election of Congress President, it is very important to know the organization of the party. Broadly, the organization of the Congress is 5 tier-
- All India Congress Committee (AICC)
- Congress Working Committee (CWC)
- Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC)
- District/City Congress Committee
- block committee
The lowest level of these is the Block Committee. Above these are the District Congress Committees at the district level. Above them are the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), it is a state level organization.
According to Article 11 of the Congress Constitution, each Block Congress Committee sends its representative to the PCC through secret ballot. All such delegates are members of the PCC. At present, there are 9 to 10 thousand members in all the State Congress Committees of Congress ie PCC.
According to Article 13 of the Congress Constitution, all PCC members elect 1/8 of themselves to the AICC by means of a single transferable vote of the Propositional Representation System. AICC is the national organization of Congress, it currently has about 1500 members. The National President of Congress is also the head of AICC.
A special part of the Congress organization between the AICC and the PCC is the CWC, that is, the Congress Working Committee. The CWC consists of 25 members. The Congress President is also the head of the CWC. In addition, the head of the Congress Parliamentary Party is the second ex-officio member of the CWC. Of the remaining 23 seats, 12 are elected by the AICC members and the remaining 11 are nominated by the Congress President.
At present, the Congress President is also nominating 12 members who have been elected by the AICC for the last several years. Clearly, the CWC is completely dominated by the Congress President. From the announcement of the election of the Congress President to the conduct of elections, the CWC has an important role.
Group 23 of party leaders, who raised their voice against the policies of the party on the current situation of Congress, has also been demanding elections for 12 seats of CWC.
Question: Who elects the Congress President?
Answer: The most important role in the election of the Congress President is that of the State Congress Committees of the Congress. All the members of the PCC are called delegates. These delegates vote in the election of Congress President.
Question: Who can contest for the post of Congress President?
Answer: The recommendation of 10 members of PCC is necessary to become a candidate for the post of Congress President. According to Article 18 of the Constitution of Congress, any 10 delegates i.e. members of the PCC can make any delegate a candidate for the post of Congress President.
Question: Who conducts the election of Congress President?
Answer: CWC i.e. Congress Working Committee announces the election of Congress President. It is the top executive body of Congress. The CWC constitutes the Central Election Authority to conduct the elections. It is an internal body like the Election Commission. This same body announces the date of election, date of nomination, date of withdrawal, names of candidates etc. This authority consists of 3 to 5 members. At present, Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry is its chairman.
Question: How is voting done for the election of Congress President?
Answer: Voting takes place when there is more than one candidate. Whenever it came to the election of Congress President, the number of candidates was only two. In such a situation, all the PCC members vote according to the single transferable vote of the Propositional Representation System, giving preference to the candidates on the ballot paper.
In case of two candidates, whoever gets more than 50% of the votes of the first preference will be the winner. If there are more than two candidates, the winning quota will be reduced accordingly and whoever gets the same number of votes as that quota wins the election.
After all, why is Manish Tewari raising questions on the election? What is their demand?
Congress MP Manish Tewari has demanded that the names of 9,000 PCC members be made public. Tiwari has expressed apprehension that in the election of the President, the nomination of a candidate can be canceled on the pretext that the proposer is not a member.
Manish Tewari is also demanding the election of CWC. The CWC consists of the party president, its leader in parliament and 23 other members. Of these, 12 are elected by the AICC. While the remaining 11 members are nominated by the party president.
In the last 50 years, only 2 CWC elections have been held. On both these occasions a person outside the Nehru-Gandhi family was in power.
That is, the members of AICC who are also in CWC, have been elected by the President. That is, all the members are close to the Speaker.
Same is the concern of Manish Tewari. That is, in the event of contesting elections, PCC members can be asked to vote for a particular person.
Elections were held for president only 2 times in 40 years
After the independence of the country, in the 70-year history of the Congress, only the Gandhi-Nehru family has dominated the post of president. In the last 40 years, there have been only two elections for the post of president.
The last election was held in the year 2000, when Jitendra Prasad contested against Sonia Gandhi. During this, Sonia defeated Jitendra by 7,448 votes. Jitendra got only 94 votes in the election.
At the same time, in 1997, Sitaram Kesari easily defeated Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot. During this, Sitaram Kesari got 6,224 votes, while Pawar got 882 and Pilot got 354 votes.
Sonia and Rahul have never faced any electoral challenge since the year 2000.
From this you can understand how the hold of the Gandhi family in the organization is maintained. That is why Manish Tewari is talking about conducting fresh elections in the organization, so that people other than those close to the Gandhi family also come to the organization.