<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul Gandhi could be made Congress President as early as in the first week of December with party’s apex decision making body—Congress Working Committee set to meet on Monday to take a call on the issue.The CWC meeting on November 20 takes place amid growing view in the party, particularly its young leaders to elevate, Gandhi to the top position at a time the party braces for a generational change in leadership after a gap of nearly 20 years and Congress President Sonia Gandhi under medical treatment for some years.Sonia Gandhi had become Congress President on March 14, 1998 and could have completed 20 years, a record of sort had she continued till March next year.
ALSO READ ‘Why no questions on PM Modi over Rafale deal,’ Rahul Gandhi asks media The agenda of the CWC meeting is to finalise the schedule for party President’s election. According to a tentative schedule sent by Congress Election Committee, nomination filing exercise could begin from November 21 and candidates can withdraw their names till December 1. The polls, if necessary, will be held on December 8 and counting could be carried out on December 11.Talking to reporters regarding CWC meeting, party general secretary (Organisation) Janardan Dwivedi said, that dates for election of Congress President will fixed on Monday.He said that if only one nomination is filed, Gandhi’s elevation can be announced on date of withdrawal of nominations since there is no other nomination for contesting the President’s post. This means that Rahul who is spearheading the party’s campaign in Gujarat assembly polls will be party President before polling begins in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home turf on December 9. The elections are likely to go uncontested but if somebody files nomination, then the Congress Vice President’s elevation can take a few more days as formalities will to be completed and the result could be clear only after the last day of withdrawal of nominations.Up till now no Congress leader has dropped indications about contesting against Gandhi, though the Congress Vice President has been a strong votary of internal elections in the party from the top to the bottom rung.Elections for Congress President’s post have happened only twice post-independence- Sharad Pawar and Rajesh Pilot had filed nominations against incumbent President Sitaram Kesri in 1997 and lost badly. Later in 2001, senior Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh Jitendra Prasada filed his nomination for the top post against incumbent Sonia Gandhi and again he lost badly.With the Election Commission having set a deadline of December 31 for Congress to complete its organizational elections, the party was running short time. Quite recently the Chairman of Congress’ Central Election Authority Mullappally Ramchandran , who was looking after the party’s organizational polls, had written to Sonia Gandhi to convene CWC to announce the election schedule for the new Congress President early.The entire election schedule will be around a fortnight long. The CWC meeting begins the final action towards elevation of Rahul Gandhi the state Congress committees have already submitted resolutions to the leadership seeking Rahul Gandhi as new President.The Congress Vice President’s elevation has been in speculation for more than three years. When recently it became clear that Congress has finally decided on Rahul Gandhi’s Presidency, there was a view that he should be taking over as Party President only after November 19, the 100th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi.Now the spotlight will on Sonia Gandhi’s next role at a time when Congress is trying to arrive at maximum possible Opposition unity and a number of Opposition leaders, having indicated their preference for Sonia remaining in the lead role for Opposition unity.There are speculations that she could continue to be Congress Parliamentary Party Chairman or UPA Chairperson, a post she earlier also held during the last two UPA alliances led by Congress. Gandhi had UPA Chiarperson on May 16, 2004.Rahul, a three term Lok Sabha MP from family pocket borough Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, became AICC general secretary in September 2007, before he was elevated as Congress Vice President on January 19, 2013.Rahul (47) also mentored Youth Congress and party’s student wing NSUI as AICC general secretary in-charge.
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