Congress Puts off Internal Party Polls Yet Again

Friday, June 19, 2015
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi

The Congress has decided to again postpone its organisational elections, after the opposition party was forced to extend its membership drive four times since last October due to poor response.

In a move that reveals its poor commitment to internal party democracy, the Congress has approached the Election Commission (EC) for extending the deadline by one year.

The internal elections were scheduled to be over by December 31, and the party leaders would now like this to be completed by December 2016 instead.

According to the Times of India, this move is being seen from the prism of Rahul Gandhi's growing political activism and the fear that internal polls could be a distraction.

The party vice-president had earlier pledged to hold internal elections across all the rungs of the party, but for all his talk of reform this has never been carried out.

The AICC had in March announced the schedule of party polls, stating that elections would start by July and be held in two phases, ending with the election of the next party president by September 30.

But this schedule has now been discarded, with no alternative dates announced and no reasons offered.

The June 15 communication from the Congress’ central election authority chairman Mullappally Ramachandran to all party units merely states: “You may advise your workers to carry on the membership drive and utilise this extended period till further intimation to enrol maximum numbers of members for the organisational election.”

Once again, Rahul Gandhi has failed to implement real change in a party that faced its worst ever defeat in the 2014 election. Most analysts had called on the Gandhi family to reinvent the tired party, but it appears that for Rahul himself the status quo is preferable to a risky internal poll.

- Karan Singh

To Learn More:

Extend deadline for internal party polls: Congress to EC (by Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times)

Congress puts off polls to avoid hurdles to Rahul Gandhi's comeback (by Subodh Ghildiyal, Times of India)

Congress releases schedule for internal polls (by Anuja, Mint)

Congress Reschedules Date for Internal Polls, Extends Deadline for Membership Drive (by Sunil Prabhu, NDTV)


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