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Congress presidential polls: Shashi Tharoor, other MPs seek transparency in party's election

Five Congress MPs have written to AICC central election authority chief Madhusudan Mistry expressing concern about the "transparency and fairness" of the poll process to elect the party chief. 

Congress presidential polls Shashi Tharoor other MPs seek transparency in party s election gcw
First Published Sep 10, 2022, 11:01 AM IST

Concerned about the "transparency and fairness" of the election process to choose the party president, five Congress MPs have written to Madhusudan Mistry, the head of the AICC central election authority, requesting that the electoral records be safely released to all voters and potential candidates.

In a joint letter to Mistry dated September 6, Congress's Lok Sabha members Shashi Tharoor, Karti Chidambaram, Pradyut Bordoloi and Abdul Khaleque said it was unfortunate that an erroneous interpretation was being given to their demand of releasing electoral rolls.

"We are not suggesting that any internal document of the party should be released in a manner that may give an opportunity to those who wish us ill to misuse the information contained therein," the MPs wrote.

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In a letter to Mistry, they stated, "We are rather of the firm opinion that the party's Central Election Authority (CEA) must furnish a list of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates that make up the electoral college before the nomination process commences."

The MPs argued that this list must be made public in order to confirm who is qualified to cast a ballot and who is qualified to propose a candidate. Candidates and electors cannot be expected to visit all 28 PCCs and 9 Union Territorial units across the nation to verify the electoral rolls, they argued.

"In case the CEA has any concerns with respect to releasing the electoral rolls publicly, it must put in place a mechanism to securely share this information with all electors and potential candidates," they said.

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According to the MPs, this will eliminate any unjustified arbitraryness from the electoral process. "Our worry about openness, a sine qua non in any free and fair election, will be fulfilled as long as this condition is honoured," the letter stated.

As members of Parliament for the Indian National Congress, the letter's signatories expressed concern about the impartiality and openness of the selection process for our party's president. Among the 23 leaders that wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi in 2020 for organisational change were Tharoor and Tiwari. 

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(With PTI inputs)

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