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Rahul to be elected Congress President unopposed next month

Sagar Kulkarni, DH News Service, New Delhi, Sep 24 2017, 22:55 IST
Rahul Gandhi, Reuters Photo

Rahul Gandhi, Reuters Photo

Rahul Gandhi is likely to be elected unopposed as the Congress President in October as the organisational elections are set to enter the decisive phase next week.

The Central Election Authority is expected to announce the schedule for the presidential election by mid-October and has issued directions to returning officers to complete the internal polls to party's district and state committees by September end and submit the list of AICC delegates by October 3.

“If there is no challenger to Rahul, he would be declared elected at the close of the nomination process,” a senior Congress leader said.

An election to the post of Congress President last witnessed a contest in November 2000 when veteran Jitendra Prasad was pitted against Sonia Gandhi. Prasad lost the election comprehensively by managing to secure 94 votes against the 7771 votes polled by Gandhi.

The Congress was nudged into holding the internal elections by the Election Commission which first set June 30, 2017, as the deadline for the process to be completed. At the request of the Congress, it was extended by another six months to December 31.

The last internal elections were held in 2010 which was followed by a Plenary Session at Burari in Delhi.

At a recent interaction at the University of California, Berkeley, 47-year-old Rahul has declared that he was ready for the top job in the Congress.

“I am absolutely ready to do that but the way our party works, we have an organisational election process that decides that and that process is currently ongoing,” Rahul had said when asked whether he was prepared to take over the reins of the Congress party.

The Congress is also planning a Plenary Session to ratify the election of the new President either in November or January after the Gujarat elections are concluded.

Election to the Congress Working Committee, the party's top decision-making body, will take place during the Plenary that may be held in the national capital.

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