Cong may keep most PCC chiefs, nominations to be filed Sept. 2

The Congress wants there to be status quo in states. The current trend in the party is to “elect” Pradesh Congress Committee presidents without a contest. The state party units are expected to pass a one-line resolution authorising the Congress chief to nominate PCC presidents.

The PCC delegates including state party presidents constitute the electoral college for the Congress president’s election. Therefore, the process of “electing” or “re-electing” PCC presidents is expected to complete very soon. This is because the last date for filing nominations for the election of Congress chief is September 2.
If insiders are to be believed, few PCC presidents are likely to be replaced. They could be from Karnataka, Orissa, Rajasthan.
Five states: West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry are going to poll in 2011. It will be interesting to see whether the high command will re-nominate all the PCC presidents in these states or make some changes in some states.
In Uttar Pradesh, Congress leaders are speaking in different voices about continuation of incumbent PCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi. But a final decision would be taken by the AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, they said, adding, that the young Gandhi has been give a complete freedom in UP by the party chief.
Another problematic state for the high command will be Andhra Pradesh where the party is not only divided in different groups and factions but facing a ticklish issue of the state’s bifurcation. If the Congress can gain in UP, it can also lose in Andhra if corrective steps are not taken.
In Maharashtra, the OBCs are staking their claim to the PCC president’s post saying that no OBC has led the party so far. Earlier, Marathas, dalits, minorities and women became the PCC chiefs. Currently chief minister Ashok Chavan and PCC president Manaikrao Thakare belong to the same caste. “A PCC president should not be a rubber stamp of a chief minister or a Union minister but he or she should have his or her own following among the people,” viewed a Maharashtra Congress leader.
In Karnataka, Congress heavy weights are suggesting a change both in the PCC and legislature party. PCC president R.V. Deshpande and CLP leader Siddaramaiah need to be changed and the party should consolidate its original political constituency — dalit, backwards and minorities, a senior leader said.
In Rajasthan, the Congress can make a Jat as PCC who could work together with the chief minister Ashok Gehlot. But he should be young and loyal to the Centre. While a section of the Punjab Congress are pressing for making Capt. Amrinder Singh a PCC chief ahead of the polls.
Meanwhile, several sets of nomination papers for Mrs Sonia Gandhi on her behalf are expected to filed either on September 1 or 2. She is all set to be re-elected as the Congress president for a record fourth term this week with the polls for the top party post likely to be an uncontested affair. The last date for filing nominations for the election is September 2, a day on which several sets of nomination papers are expected to be filed on her behalf. The filing can either take place on that day, on which Janmashtami falls, or a day earlier with top party leaders.

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