Tharoor asks for the publication of the electoral list for the presidential elections of the Congress

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has written to the chairman of the party’s central electoral authority, Madhusudan Mistry, demanding the release of the electoral list for the upcoming AICC chairmanship ballot, sources said on Friday.

Assam MP Pradyut Bordoloi also reportedly wrote to Mistry, asking him to release the electoral list.

Their letters come as the voices calling for the publication of the electoral list grow louder and the debate within the party intensifies.

Tharoor, who plans to throw his hat in the ring, wrote to Mistry and demanded the release of the voters list, the sources said.

The nomination process includes 10 nominators who are delegates from the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC). According to the sources, the senior leader said it was important to know about these delegates as articles can be rejected if their names are not in the final list.

Asked about the letters written by the leaders and the growing voices calling for the publication of the voters list, the Congress played it down and said that one voice after another was rising for Rahul Gandhi to be the next party president.

“If you ask every worker from every corner of the country, whether in private or in public, drinking tea or eating, they will say the same thing, it is our desire that Rahul Gandhi take the post of president of Congress,” party spokesman Gourav Vallabh said.

“The Congressional election timetable is in front of everyone. I assure you that the election of the President will be conducted according to the systems in place in accordance with the Congressional constitution,” he added.

On Wednesday, Manish Tewari and Karti Chidambaram, along with Tharoor, had demanded that the voters list be made public to ensure transparency.

Tewari, one of the leaders of the “Group of 23” (G-23) seeking wide-ranging party reforms with Tharoor, has raised objections to Congress not releasing the names of voters for polls to elect the party’s next chairman and said the list should be posted on the All India Congress Committee (AICC) website for a “free and fair” process.

Tharoor, who expressed his intention to contest the election, agreed with Tewari and said everyone should know who can nominate and who can vote.

“I think it’s important for everyone to have transparency on the voter rolls. If that’s what Manish asked for, then I’m sure that’s a principle everyone would agree with. Everyone should know who can nominate and who can vote.

“There is nothing wrong with that,” the former Union minister had said at a reception in Thiruvananthapuram, his Lok Sabha constituency.

Another MP Karti Chidambaram had backed the view, saying each ballot requires a well-defined electoral college.

Mistry, however, maintained that the election is conducted transparently and that the entire voting process is free and fair.

He said earlier this week that according to the party’s constitution, the voters list cannot be made public, but it can be provided to anyone contesting the election.

Congressman Manickam Tagore hit back at leaders demanding the release of the voters list, saying they must not create confusion and should be proud of the “open system”.

Notification of the election of the President of the Congress will be published on September 22 and the nomination process will take place from September 24 to 30.

The deadline for withdrawal of nominations is October 8 and the election, if necessary, will take place on October 17. The results will be known on October 19.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Jacob L. Thornton