CWC approves election schedule, paves way for Rahul's elevation

NEW DELHI
20 Nov 2017

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) today approved the schedule for election of the next party president starting December 1, paving the way for the elevation of its vice-president Rahul Gandhi ahead of the crucial Gujarat Assembly polls.

Candidates can start filing nomination for the election on December 1. The last date for filing nomination is December 4 (till 3 pm). Following scrutiny of nominations on December 5, the list of valid candidatures will be put out on the same day at 3:30 pm. Party sources said Gandhi is likely to be the sole candidate to file the nomination for the party chief's post and is "deemed to be the next party chief the same day (Dec 5)", that is, just ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls. The Gujarat election is to be held in two phases -- December 9 and December 14.

However, the last date of withdrawal of nomination for the Congress party president post's election is December 11 and polling will take place on December 16 if more than one candidate is in the fray. Counting of votes and declaration of results will take place on December 19, chairman of the Congress' Central election authority Mullapally Ramachandran told reporters after the meeting of the CWC, which is the grand old party's highest decision-making body.

The BJP today took a swipe at Rahul's imminent elevation as Congress chief, saying the top post of that party is reserved only for one family while even booth-level workers have become BJP presidents. "Can an ordinary booth level worker aspire to be the national president of the Congress? Or is the post reserved only for the family? Is it possible even for a state level leader to even aspire to be considered for the post," senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The Union minister cited the examples of BJP chief Amit Shah and his predecessors Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh, saying they were all ordinary booth-level workers in the party before they went on to head the party.