Contest for CWC membership appears unlikely | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Contest for CWC membership appears unlikely

delhi Updated: Oct 17, 2010 14:45 IST

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With nominations rather than election being the order of the day in Congress, a contest for the membership of the all powerful party Working Committee appears unlikely.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has herself given an indication to this effect by going in once again for the process of nominating the state unit chiefs of the party.

Party leaders, who declined to be identified, say that prospects of a contest appear dim given the fact that the organisation cannot have double standards on party polls.

The logic stated for this procedure is that if the process of nomination is used for state unit chiefs, why should there be a contest for party's apex policymaking body.

The elections for the CWC are scheduled on November two when the AICC meeting takes place here. All state unit chiefs are expected to be nominated by Gandhi before the meeting.

The official line on the CWC polls is that it was for the 1000 odd AICC members to decide whether to have a contest or else authorise Gandhi to nominate the entire 25-member CWC.

The AICC members constitute the electoral college for the CWC polls.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit steered clear of the issue when asked whether there should be elections for the CWC or should Gandhi be authorised to nominate the entire CWC.

"I have not given my thought to it, whatever the majority wants should be done," she said.

There has been no contest for the CWC since Gandhi took over the reins of the organisation in April 1998. CWC has a total of 25 members with a provision for election of 12 of its member and nomination of 11.

Congress President as also Parliamentary Party leader of the party are always members of the CWC with the party chief heading the key body.

The last two contests for the CWC were in 1997 at the Kolkata Plenary when Sitaram Kesri was the party chief and in April 1992 at the Tirupati Plenary when P V Narasimha Rao was at the helm.

Sharad Pawar and Arjun Singh were the prominent winners during these contests, as also Ahmed Patel and late Jitendra Prasada.

The talk in party circles is that Gandhi is well aware of the problems that Rao and Kesri faced after allowing contests for the CWC and therefore would like to keep senior leaders under obligation by nominating them to it.

While Rahul Gandhi has gone in for elections to the Youth Congress and the NSUI, party leaders suggest that he was on the same page as the party chief on the issue of CWC elections. However, Rahul has so far not made any public statement.

As a party general secretary put it, it is not necessary that the Congress should have a contest when it has decided upon the schedule for the CWC elections. "Don't be surprised that at the AICC meeting someone could demand authorising Gandhi for nominating the CWC and it could catch up like wild fire."