Congress MP and G-23 leader Manish Tewari on Wednesday raised objections to the party not making public the names of electors for the party president poll, and said it must be published on the AICC website to ensure transparency.
He also asked why anyone seeking to contest the Congress president’s election should go to the PCC office to get the electoral roll as this does not even happen in a club election.
“With great respect Madhusudan Mistry ji How can there be a fair and free election without a publicly available electoral roll? Essence of a fair and free process is names and addresses of electors must be published on the Congress website in a transparent manner,” Tewari said in a series of tweets.
He said Mistry, who is the chairman of the Congress’ central election authority is quoted as saying, “The list is not made public but if a member of our party wants to check, they can check at the PCC office. And, of course, it will be given to the candidates once they file their nomination papers”.
Another Congress leader and MP Karti Chidambaram supported his view saying every election requires a well defined electoral college.
He also said “reformists are jot rebels”.
“Every election needs a well defined and clear electoral college. The process of forming the electoral college must also be clear, well defined and transparent. An ad hoc electoral college is no electoral college,” he said on Twitter.
He also supported the idea of having primaries, saying, “we must have primaries in every constituency, but for that we need a defined and transparent members list. Today we claim we have membership numbers which no one has ever verified.”
Responding to a query on Twitter, he asked, “So anybody who wants to reform the party must resign? Only blind followers are allowed to be in the party?”
Tewari said the CWC has announced the schedule of the Congress president’s election not to 28 Pradesh Congress Committees (PCC’s) and eight territorial Congress Committees (TCC’s).
“Why should someone have to go to every PCC office in the country to find out who the electors are,” he asked.
“This does not happen in a club election also with great respect. In interests of fairness and transparency I urge your gods self to publish the entire list of electors on Congress website,” the Punjab MP said.
“How can someone consider running if he/she does not know who electors are. If someone has to file his/her nomination and gets it proposed by 10 Congress persons, as is requirement, the CEA can reject it saying they are not valid electors,” Tewari said while pointing fingers at the process of election.
The Congress MP is among the G-23 leaders who had sought an organisational overhaul and elections at all levels, in a letter to the Congress president in August 2020.
Tewari’s charge comes in the wake of CWC member and another G-23 leader Anand Sharma raising objections to the poll process at the last meeting of the CWC.
He also asked whether the sanctity of the poll process was followed as per the party’s Constitution.
Besides Tewari, another G23 member Shashi Tharoor has demanded that there should be free and fair elections.
Another senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has resigned last Friday from the party alleging that the electoral rolls are made by a “coterie running the AICC” and the election process is a “sham and farce” while blaming the leadership for committing a fraud on the party.
The notification for the Congress president’s election will be out on 22 September and the process for filing nominations will begin from 24 to 30 September. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is 8 October and election, if required, will be held on 17 October.