The Congress' Central Election Authority (CEA) has barred the party general secretaries and other office-bearers from voting in their assigned states in the party's presidential poll, and can instead vote in their home states.

In a circular, Madhusudan Mistry, the CEA chairman, said, "As you are well aware that the polling for the election of the Congress President is scheduled to be held on Monday, 17th October 2022 at all PCC Headquarters from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"In order to remain impartial and maintain transparency in the election process, the Central Election Authority has decided that no AICC General Secretaries/ State In-charges, Secretaries and Jt. Secretaries would be allowed to cast their vote in their assigned states."

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Therefore, they have been requested to cast their vote either at home state or at AICC Office, as per their choice, said the order.

Allaying fears of being identified, the Congress Central Election Authority (CEA) Chairman on Wednesday had assured the voters of the secrecy of the ballot in the October 17 party presidential poll.

While issuing standard protocol for the voting till the counting of the votes, Madhusudan Mistry said that there was no numbering on the papers and only counterfoil with detail will be kept with the election authority while ballot boxes will be sealed and unsealed in front of election agents. Ahead of counting of votes, all the ballot papers will be mixed so that no one would know how many votes the candidate got from a particular state.

He said that they have received a complaint that has been addressed by the CEA. In fray for the top post are Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge. Sixty-seven booths have been set up in all the states, the party's CEA has said.

(With inputs from IANS)