Kerala HC issues notice to Congress over organisational polls

Manish Arya / On 2017-10-04 06:48:50

The Kerala High Court issued notice to the Congress and its Kerala unit on a writ petition seeking judicial intervention to ensure conduct of impending organisational polls of the party in the state.

The petition was filed by the Pathanamthitta District Congress Committee Vice President and former Youth Congress office-bearer Anil Thomas, who told IANS that he was forced to seek legal recourse after his complaints against filling up party posts on the basis of consensus fell on deaf ears.

He said he had complained to the Congress high command, its central and state Election Authority chairpersons, the state unit chief and also the party emissary in charge of Kerala but to no avail.

As per the Congress constitution, a majority of members in its district, state and national committees are to be elected by voting through secret ballot, and majority of members of the executive committees of organisational bodies such as Congress Working Committee and key office bearers are also to be elected the same way.

Thomas said he was upset that as a prelude to the election, a membership campaign was conducted all over Kerala with much enthusiasm, but then the election machinery for the organisational polls seemed to go in slumber. He alleged that this was at the behest of senior leaders who did not favour elections, and thus the party has not made any efforts for holding organisational polls, forcing him to seek legal intervention.

The last time the organisational polls in the Congress in Kerala was conducted in the early 1990s when Vayalar Ravi defeated A.K. Antony to become the state party president. Since then, it was the party leaders have been appointed, not elected.

Meanwhile, Thomas' counsel Jacob P. Alex told IANS that the standing counsel of the Election Commission was present in the court and has noted the matter. The poll panel, which had directed the Congress to hold its organisational elections by June 30, had subsequently extended the period till December 31 on the party's request.

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