The Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body — moved on expected lines while taking the final call on the ideas thrown up at its Chintan Shivir, mega brainstorming session, in Rajasthan’s Udaipur. There was approval for the one-man-one post rule with the expected riders and no age limit. But the proposal for a Parliamentary Board to replace the Congress Election Committee — a key demand of the rebels — was shot down. Instead, the party decided to have a political affairs committee in every state and the Centre.
The “One Person One Post” and “One Family One Ticket” on which there was uniformity, was passed. But the rule leaves a loophole for the Gandhi family with its five-year rider.
If family members want to contest, they should have been active for five years, says the rule, which makes all three Gandhis – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra – eligible to contest.
The rebels wanted a parliamentary board for a more inclusive decision-making process. But there was considerable resistance against the idea since it was seen as cutting down the powers of the party chief.
Currently the Election Committee decides on candidates for the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
A parliamentary board, the mechanism of which is enshrined in the party constitution, was discontinued after PV Narasimha Rao took over as Prime Minister. It has not been revived since.
“The Working Committee shall set up a Parliamentary Board consisting of the Congress President and nine other members, one of whom will be the leader of the Congress Party in Parliament, with the Congress President as the Chairman for the purpose of regulating and co-ordinating the Parliamentary activities of the Legislature Congress Parties and shall frame rules in that behalf,” states the Congress constitution.