Five Congress MPs have written to All India Congress Committee (AICC) central election authority chief Madhusudan Mistry expressing concern about the "transparency and fairness" of the poll process to elect the party chief, seeking that the electoral rolls should be securely provided to all electors and potential candidates.
In a joint letter to Mistry dated 6 September, Congress's Lok Sabha members Shashi Tharoor, Karti Chidambaram, Pradyut Bordoloi, and Abdul Khaleque said it was unfortunate that an erroneous interpretation was being given to their demand of releasing electoral rolls.
"We are not suggesting that any internal document of the party should be released in a manner that may give an opportunity to those who wish us ill to misuse the information contained therein," the MPs wrote.
"We are rather of the firm opinion that before the commencement of the nomination process, the party's Central Election Authority (CEA) must provide a list of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates that make up the electoral college," their letter to Mistry said.
This list must be made available in order to verify who is entitled to nominate a candidate and who is entitled to vote, the MPs said.
"In case the CEA has any concerns with respect to releasing the electoral rolls publicly, it must put in place a mechanism to securely share this information with all electors and potential candidates. Electors and candidates cannot be expected to go to all 28 PCCs and 9 Union Territorial units across the country to verify the electoral rolls," they said.
This will remove any unwarranted arbitrariness from the election process, the MPs said.
"As long as this demand is met, our concern about transparency - a sine qua non in any free and fair election - will be met," the letter said.
The signatories to the letter said that as Members of Parliament of the Indian National Congress, they are concerned about the transparency and fairness of the election process for the president of our party.
Tharoor and Tiwari were among the group of 23 leaders who had written to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking organisational overhaul. Tharoor is contemplating running for the post of party president.