The Indian National Congress has a tradition of electing the party president since India’s pre-independent days. Obviously the country’s oldest political party prides itself on the tradition of internal democracy, which has resulted in as many as 61 presidents being elected since the party was founded in 1885.
Congress continued its tradition of holding elections for the top post after 1947 and the party actually has a fairly detailed structure for this.
Its electoral college is composed of members drawn from the State or Pradesh Congress Committees (PCC) and All India Congress Committee (AICC). This college formally elects the Congress president.
AICC is the central decision making body of the party and includes leaders elected from the PCCs, former presidents of the Congress party (who continue to be active in the party), leader of the Congress Party in Parliament and Leaders of the Congress Party in the state Legislative Assemblies.
The electoral process
The Congress party has a comprehensive constitution and the elections for the position of the party president are guided by laws mentioned in Article XVIII of the document. On the D-Day (Oct. 17, 2022), each member of the AICC and PCC will be entitled to cast their ballot.
Others who are eligible to vote in the presidential polls include former PCC presidents and a certain number of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from each state. These MLAs cannot exceed more than 5% of the total members of the PCC or 15 MLAs.
9000Number of delegates in Congress electoral college
The election exercise is traditionally held in multiple places all over India. Voting takes place in the PCC headquarters of each state. Usually the counting of votes is done under a single transferable vote system (candidates are ranked in their order of preference) and the candidate with highest number of votes is declared president.
There are more than 9,000 delegates in the electoral college of Congress who are eligible to vote in these polls. The party has prepared identity cards for the delegates with QR codes embedded in them.
The results will be declared on Oct. 19, 2022. The last election for the post of party president was conducted in 2000 when Sonia Gandhi, the current president of the Congress, won against Jitendra Prasada.