Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said the move by Pradesh Congress committees passing resolutions seeking Rahul Gandhi to lead the party had no binding effect, PTI reported. Speaking to reporters during the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, Ramesh said he personally preferred to have a consensus around a candidate.
If consensus was not possible, Ramesh said the party was ready to go for an election and 9,000 PCC delegates would elect the president in a democratic manner.
“Nobody asked anyone to pass any resolution. The Congress party workers are enthusiastic. Rahul Gandhi has not asked anyone to pass any resolution. the Congress President has not asked anyone. They have been watching Gandhi walking for the past 13 days. They know the pain he is undergoing everyday. They all can relate to him. It’s natural that they pass the resolution. But the resolution has no binding effect,” PTI quoted Ramesh as saying.
Ramesh said at present the focus of the Congress party was on the ongoing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ led by Rahul Gandhi.
“However, in the election, anybody is free to contest. It is an open process. You don’t need to get permission from Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi. If you have the support of 10 PCC delegates, you can file the nomination papers and the election will be held on October 17,” Ramesh said.
Ramesh said if there were no nominations and a consensus was reached on the candidate, then the new president would be announced on October 1.
Congress has conducted an election to select its president only four times in the past. The first time was in 1938 when Nethaji Subhash Chandra Bose was elected. Then in 1950, 1997 and in the year 2000.
Congress is likely to see a contest for the post of party chief after Shashi Tharoor on Monday received the nod from Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi to run for the post. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is being seen as the other contender.
Tharoor met Sonia Gandhi on Monday and expressed his intention to contest the poll. The Congress president is learnt to have conveyed to Tharoor that she would stay “neutral” in the elections.
The process for filing of nominations for the election will be held from September 24 to 30. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 8 and the election, if required, will be held on October 17. The results will be out on October 19.