During the critical CWC meeting on Sunday, dissident Congress leader Anand Sharma reportedly questioned if the party’s constitution was adhered to and how the electoral lists for the AICC president election were prepared.
However, according to AICC General Secretary of Communications Jairam Ramesh, there have been no concerns about the party’s election timeline or procedure.
However, Sharma complained that neither a virtual nor a physical meeting had been held to finalize the electoral rolls when he spoke at the CWC meeting before the party’s Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry outlining the schedule for the election of the Congress president, the sources said.
They said that Sharma, one of the G-23 dissident leaders, also brought up the fact that no Pradesh Congress Committee had received a list of delegates who would cast their votes for the election of the Congress president, which is a violation of the integrity of the electoral process.
The election schedule was unanimously approved by CWC members, according to Ramesh, who stated this at a press conference following the meeting.
“The election schedule that was put forward by Mistry, all CWC members unanimously approved it without raising any questions or demanding an extension of dates,” he continued. Ramesh said on Twitter, “This is to make very obvious that nobody raised any query or doubt.”
K C Venugopal, the organization’s general secretary for the AICC, said: “Election contestants might be anybody. There is no closed election.”
However, the sources said that while deciding on the list of delegates who would cast ballots in this election, Sharma had questioned whether the procedure followed the Congress constitution.
He said that no PCC had received a list and no physical or virtual meetings had taken place.
According to the sources, he also demanded that the electoral lists of the delegates who cast ballots for the election be made public.
Mistry responded by promising to make these records accessible to any candidate who wants to run for office and the PCCs.
The sources said that Sonia Gandhi, the head of the Congress, requested Mistry to react while adding that the lists are open for inspection.
Mistry pushed party leaders to run in a forthcoming election and promised to provide the list of delegates to all PCCs.
He said that nearly 9,000 delegates would cast their ballots for the election of the Congress president and that all of the lists had been reviewed and approved by the election returning officials.
A week before, veteran politician Sharma announced his resignation as the party’s steering committee chairman for Himachal Pradesh, citing the “continued marginalisation and insults” as the reason.
The veteran writer Ghulam Nabi Azad’s shocking resignation from the party on Friday and his scathing letter to the party president, in which he attacked Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing the party’s entire consultative mechanism,” caused a new upheaval at the time of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting.
In a letter to Sonia Gandhi in 2020, 23 dissident leaders, including Azad and Sharma, called for extensive changes, including elections at all levels of the organization.
Sonia Gandhi, who is away receiving medical care, served as the meeting’s chair. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were with her.