Maharashtra Congress secretary Shehzad Poonawalla, who raised a political storm by dubbing as "rigged" Rahul Gandhi's impending election as party President, on Sunday dubbed the latter as ‘shehzada’, a term repeatedly used by BJP to take a jibe at the Gandhi scion.
Poonwala said that Congress Party had "no place for Shehzad (himself), but for shehzada (Rahul Gandhi)."
“I have been trying to raise the most important issue of dynastic politics and fair opportunity to the non-dynasts within the party for the past six to eight years. I also wrote to Rahul ji on this. Instead of answering my claims about delegates being fixed and one family one ticket rule - they are making baseless allegations against me that I am a BJP agent. I have to become a whistle-blower. I am not spineless like the other Congress leaders,” said Poonawalla.
“Main Shehzad hoon, shehzada nahin. They don’t have a place for me,” he added.
Poonawalla further accused the Gandhi scion’s office of insulting him.
“Today morning, I called Rahul Gandhi's office to ask him for his time so I could give him the proof that it was a rigged election before he files nomination tomorrow. I thought he has some morality takes the right decision by stopping the process, but his office insulted me,” he insulted.
Poonawalla said Manish Tiwari, who is also the party spokesperson, had opposed him. Another senior leader, Sandeep Dikshit, the son of three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, had admitted that such things happen, he said.
He also equated his treatment at the hands of the Congress to the what he called, the insult of Sardar Patel by the then Congress leadership.
“Sardar Patel was insulted by the Congress leadership back in the day and I feel the same way today. When I raised my voice against dynasty politics and the AICC elections, they (Congress) said I was not a party member. I proved that they lied,” he said.
If Sardar Patel was insulted by Congress leadership back then, then I feel the same way today.When I raised my voice to end dynasty politics&election for Pres post&,not coronation of Rahul Gandhi,then they (Congress)said I was not member.I proved that they lied:Shehzad Poonawalla pic.twitter.com/TZKffcfmPP— ANI (@ANI) December 3, 2017
This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing an election rally in poll-bound Gujarat, praised him for raising voice against dynasty politics.
“A youngster Shehzad has exposed the rigging that is taking place in the Congress president poll. And Shehzad is a senior Congress leader in Maharashtra. The Congress Party has tried to muzzle his voice and wants to even remove him from their social media groups. What tolerance is this!,” PM Modi said today.
Poonawalla thanked PM Modi for praising him for his bravery and said, "The person whom I criticised (PM Modi) is supporting me, while the party (Congress) for which I gave my life is criticising me and saying that I am not a member of it."
He also denied the allegations levied by the Congress that he is not a member of the party.
"Till three days ago, I had been receiving communication from Maharashtra Congress office. Now they are saying, I am not a party member. I had to become a whistle-blower," he said showing proofs of his communication with state wing of the party.
Till three days ago, I had been receiving communication from Maharashtra Congress office, now they are saying I am not a party member. I had to become a whistle-blower: Shehzad Poonawalla pic.twitter.com/xVwxzTNxQE— ANI (@ANI) December 3, 2017
Earlier this week, Poonawalla had questioned the process to elect Congress president, alleging it to be orchestrated by the party in favour of Rahul.
He had argued that vice president Rahul Gandhi must first resign from his post before contesting for the post of president and at the same time expressed his intention to contest the election if it was conducted in a "genuine" manner.
A day earlier, he had also written a letter to Rahul Gandhi in this regard.
"I cannot contest a rigged election. If the system is genuine, then I will contest. It is a rigged election...it is a selection.
Delegates who are going to vote for this election have not been elected as per the constitutional requirements. They have been handpicked," he told IANS.