The Congress is all set to have a one-day All India Congress Committee session on November 1, with the AICC general secretaries scheduled to meet at noon on Wednesday to finalise the agenda for the session as well as the technical aspects and details of the meet to be held in New Delhi.
The prime minister will be away from the country from October 24 to 30 and since October 31 is the Indira Gandhi's death anniversary, the party has zeroed in on November 1 as the first available date, since after that the government machinery would be busy with US Presidet Barack Obama's impending visit and preparations for the winter session of Parliament.
Sources say that the AICC session is being held to ratify Sonia Gandhi's election as Congress president as until the AICC ratifies the election of the party president, it would not be proper for her to nominate the Pradesh Congress Committee chiefs, though the party constitution gives Gandhi enough leeway to take whatever decisions she deems fit.
It is learnt that there is also a move to amend the party constitution and give the Congress president a five year term as opposed to a three year term at present. Earlier it had been a two year term but was increased to 3 years during Sonia's tenure. Ensuring that the party president gets a five year tenure would also mean that the party's organisational elections will also held every five years.
Apart from this, the AICC meet would also authorise the Congress president to nominate the Congress Working Committee though the party constitution stipulates that half of the CWC is nominated by the Congress president and half are elected. During Sonia Gandhi's tenure, elections have been done away with and the nomination culture has come to the fore. This time around too, the party managers appear to have convinced the party president to continue with the nomination culture.
The CWC elections are held in the plenary session with sources saying that the plenary is likely to be held in December though the details have not yet been finalised. The three cities which have been shortlisted are Mumbai, Kolkata and a unnamed venue in North India, though Mumbai appears to be the most favoured option, since that where the Congress began its journey. The party will complete 125 years of existence on December 28.
The plenary session which hosts all the PCC and AICC members along with MPs and other senior leaders is a huge affair and this year it will be celebratory in nature, marking 125 years of the Indian National Congress.