The election authority for the Congress presidential election has changed the requirement for a vote from writing “1” against the preferred candidate’s name to a tick mark, Shashi Tharoor, a candidate for the post, said on Sunday. Tharoor’s team had earlier taken up with the party’s central election authority chairman the issue of a directive asking PCC delegates to mark “1” against the name of their choice on the ballot paper that has Mallikarjun Kharge on the serial number “1” and Tharoor on “2”, news agency PTI reported citing sources.
“Breaking News: the @incIndia Election Authority has changed the requirement for a vote from writing “1” against the preferred candidate’s name to a tick mark. Delegates please note – a tick mark is needed in the box next to my name!” Tharoor tweeted. After Tharoor’s team flagged this issue, central election authority chairman of the Congress Madhusudan Mistry is said to have conveyed to them that now a tick would be accepted against the name of the preferred candidate instead of ‘1’. “The Congress presidential polls| between 10am and 4pm tomorrow, delegates from all states will vote at their respective polling stations with a ‘tick’ mark for the candidate they support.
Arrangements made for smooth polling,” news agency ANI quoted Mistry as saying. In instructions for polling issued on Saturday, Mistry had said PCC members “will mark ‘1’ on the ballot paper against the name of the candidate and fold the ballot paper to put it into the ballot box”, PTI reported. Tharoor’s team had raised the matter with Mistry, stating that this may confuse the voters as Kharge is on serial number 1 and Tharoor on serial number 2 on the ballot paper and writing ‘1’ in front of the name of the preferred candidate would put Tharoor at a “disadvantage”. Tharoor’s team has repeatedly flagged an uneven playing field and violation of directives by the party’s central election authority. After 22 years, the Congress is all set to witness a contest for the president post on Monday with Tharoor and Kharge pitted against each other to lead the party with new vigour so as to fulfil the aim of defeating the BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha elections.