Cong Sticks to Res­o­lu­tion, Re­buffs EC’s June Dead­line to Elect Prez

Will fol­low CWC’s Nov plan to give one-year ex­ten­sion to So­nia-led team

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Congress party has re­buffed the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion’s June dead­line to elect a new pres­i­dent, say­ing it was in con­flict with the Congress Work­ing Com­mit­tee res­o­lu­tion and that its work­ers are caught up with cam­paign­ing for the cur­rent round of as­sem­bly elec­tions.

In a re­sponse dated Fe­bru­ary 3, ac­cessed by the ET, Congress gen­eral sec­re­tary Ja­nard­han Dwivedi reaf­firmed the CWC de­ci­sion for a year’s ex­ten­sion to the cur­rent lead­er­ship headed by So­nia Gandhi.

The EC is meant to en­sure that po­lit­i­cal par­ties abide by their own con­sti­tu­tion. The Congress case is that the ex­ten­sion is well within the pro­vi­sions of its con­sti­tu­tion and the EC can­not start set­ting dead­lines, he stated in the let­ter. “We are sur­prised tolearn­thattheElec­tionCom­mis­sion has im­posed upon us a dead­line of 30.06.2017 to com­plete our or­gan­i­sa­tional elec­tions,” it said.

Fur­ther, Dwivedi elab­o­rated that the EC dead­line was “in con­flict” with a res­o­lu­tion of CWC, which is the party’s high­est de­ci­sion mak­ing body, im­ply­ing that any con­tra­ven­tion could then amount to vi­o­lat­ing the very party con­sti­tu­tion the EC seeks to up­hold.

“Sec­ondly, our party work­ers are presently en­gaged in cam­paign­ing for the up­com­ing as­sem­bly elec­tions and hence, it would not be vi­able at this point of time to di­vert our re­sources to com­plete the or­gan­i­sa­tional elec­tions,” he said in his re­sponse.

“It is re­quested that the elec­tion process be per­mit­ted as per the pro­vi­sion of the con­sti­tu­tion of the In­dian Na­tional Congress and as per the res­o­lu­tion passed by the Congress Work­ing Com­mit­tee,” the party has said.

The Congress last voted for key posts and mem­bers of com­mit­tees in 2010. So­nia Gandhi has served as the party’s leader since 1998. In 2013, her son, Rahul Gandhi, was named vice pres­i­dent. CWC has been filled with nom­i­nated mem­bers rather than elected ones.

In 2015, while the party had an­nounced to hold or­gan­i­sa­tional polls they kept get­ting de­layed. On De­cem­ber 16, 2016, the Congress de­cided on another ex­ten­sion and sent a let­ter to the EC ex­plain­ing the rea­sons for the de­lay in con­duct­ing party elec­tions. But the com­mis­sion took a firm view this time. “Your party is di­rected to com­plete the or­gan­i­sa­tional elec­tions of the party (by June 30) and sub­mit the com­plete list of of­fice-bear­ers, mem­bers of com­mit­tees… lat­est by July 15, 2017,” it told the party in a let­ter dated Jan­uary 5, 2017. This vir­tu­ally set a six-month dead­line for the Congress to de­cide on its next pres­i­dent.

In its re­sponse, Congress said CWC has unan­i­mously passed a res­o­lu­tion on Novem­ber 7, 2016 to pro­vide a one year ex­ten­sion to com­plete or­gan­i­sa­tional elec­tions.

“The ex­ten­sion was granted keep­ing in view the up­com­ing as­sem­bly elec­tions in five states and to com­plete the im­ple­men­ta­tion of cer­tain con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments. The Elec­tion Com­mis­sion was in­formed of the one year ex­ten­sion in a let­ter dated De­cem­ber 16, 2016,” it said.

The Congress last voted for key posts and mem­bers of com­mit­tees in 2010

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