New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS): The central election authority (CEA) of the Congress has issued guidelines to all the state presidents to extend courtesy to both Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge who are contesting for the party presidential poll.
The guidelines says that Pradesh Returning Officer (PRO) will be the Polling Officer of their respective PCCs and shall be responsible for keeping order at the polling stations and to see that the election is fairly conducted.
"Shri Mallikarjun Kharge and Dr. Shashi Tharoor are contesting the election of Congress President in their personal capacity. Therefore, delegates are free to elect any one of them, as per their choice, through Ballot Paper.
"All the office-bearers are asked to resign first if they want to campaign. AICC General Secretaries/ In-charges, Secretaries/ Jt Secretaries, PCC Presidents, CLP Leaders, Heads of Frontal Org., Chiefs of Depts./Cells and all official Spokesperson shall not campaign for or against contesting candidates. If they wish to support any candidate they must first resign from their organisational post, after that they participate in the campaign process," said the guidelines.
CEA chairman Madhusudan Mistry has said that all the state presidents shall extend courtesy to the candidates during their visits to the respective states and arrange meeting hall, chairs and other equipment for the public announcement to the candidate who wishes to hold the meeting of the delegates.
"However, no such meeting can be called by the PCC Presidents in their personal capacity. Organising the meeting is the task of the proposer or the supporters of the contesting candidates."
As per the guidelines during the election "no candidate shall use a vehicle bringing the voters nor resort to any undesired pamphlet, any other kind of publication propaganda. Violation of these procedures shall render the candidates' election invalid and make them liable for disciplinary action".
It said, "Utmost care must be taken to ensure that there is no mala fide campaign against any candidate. The same would bring disgrace to the party. The sensitivity of the election process must be upheld at any cost."