he most popular name will be discussed at the next CWC meet, to be held soon.
New Delhi: A secret ballot will be held of members of the Congress Working Committee to find a replacement for Rahul Gandhi as Congress president. All CWC members will have to shortlist four names each and submit their choice, which will be eventually go to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, chairperson of the parliamentary party. This exercise will be conducted in secret — the names decided on by any individual member will not be shared with others. The most popular name will be discussed at the next CWC meet, to be held soon. The CWC has nearly 52 members.
As per the rules laid down for selecting candidates for the party chief’s post, the members are also expected to give reasons for choosing a particular candidate. Sources said that at the next CWC meeting, there will be a bid to build a consensus on the “most popular name”. The person coming second in the shortlist could be named the “working president”, sources said. Many top leaders are in favour of having a “working president”, that is likely to be created to “prevent the complete concentration of power in one hand”.
It has been two months since Rahul Gandhi resigned from the party presidentship. In the meantime, the Congress has lost a government in Karnataka. Several leaders in the past few weeks held individual and group meetings with Mr Gandhi to persuade him to continue as party chief. Many leaders, to show solidarity with their boss, also resigned from their party posts. But finally Mr Gandhi sent out a public note saying he will work for the party but not continue as party president.
The Congress urgently needs to have a chief as crucial Assembly polls loom in Jharkhand and Maharashtra, and so the process is being speeded up.