Manish Tewari on Congress chief polls: Electoral roll should be published for sake of transparency

In a series of tweets highlighting loopholes in the Congress’ electoral process, party leader Manish Tewari on Wednesday called for making electoral rolls publicly available to ensure transparency.

The Congress MP’s remarks were made by the party’s Central Election Authority chief Madhusudan Mistry in an interview with The Indian Express that the elections would be conducted fairly.

“With all due respect, Mr. Mistry, how can there be a fair and free election without a publicly available voter list?” Tiwari tweeted on Wednesday morning. “The gist of the fair and open process Voters’ names and addresses should be published on the INC’s website transparently.”

In an interview with The Indian Express, Mistry said that those who wish to view the electoral rolls can approach the Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs).

“Why should one visit every PCC office in the country to know who the electors are? It does not happen with great respect even in club elections,” replied Tiwari. “How can someone consider running if he doesn’t know who the voters are? If someone has to file his nomination and it is proposed by 10 Congressmen as required, the CEA can reject it saying they are valid. There are no voters.”

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram also stressed the importance of a “well-defined and clear electoral college”. “The process of constitution of the electoral college should also be clear, well defined and transparent. An ad-hoc electoral college is not an electoral college,” he tweeted on Wednesday.

Calling Chidambaram’s observation “spot-on”, Tiwari further tweeted: “Any election to be kosher must constitutionally constitute an electoral college.”

Earlier this month, the Congress Working Committee announced that the election for the post of Congress President would be held on October 17.

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