New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Monday announced the schedule for election of the next party president, paving the way for the elevation of Rahul Gandhi.
On paper, the process will stretch from December 1 to December 19, but Rahul’s election as party chief to take over from his mother Sonia has been a foregone conclusion.
The election will be notified on December 1, and the last date for filing nominations is December 4. The nominations will be scrutinised on December 5, and last date for withdrawing nominations is December 11.
A statement announcing the dates said the date of poll would be December 16 "if necessary". If an election is held, the counting of votes will take place on December 19, a day after results of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.
The all-important meeting of the CWC was chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and attended by top party leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, and party general secretaries.
Following the CWC meeting, Congress leader RPN Singh said the Rahul Gandhi would also be the party’s PM candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The meeting came amid mounting troubles for the party in Gujarat where workers of Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) went on a rampage outside the party’s Surat office. They were reportedly angry at being given just three tickets in the first list despite asking for 10.
Its other ally, the NCP, too, said it would go solo in the Assembly elections after the Congress announced a candidate from Kutiyana, which is considered an NCP bastion. “We will be more successful by going alone,” Patel said.