The Congress on Friday formally issued a gag order to both the seniors as well as young leaders of the party, asking them to refrain from making public statements about party affairs and giving advice to the leadership through the media.
“I am sure that all colleagues will take their views with due sensitivity. I am issuing separate letters to them also advising that in future they should refrain from giving such advice publicly through the media,” Dwivedi said in his letter.
Dwivedi, who himself courted controversy with his suggestion that leaders over 65 years should not hold important organisational posts, forwarded the letter signed by 14 AICC secretaries to both the young and senior leaders, including general secretaries and Congress Working Committee members, along with his advisory.
The secretaries had expressed concern over public statements of some senior leaders regarding the party affairs which had hurt the interests of the organisation in an apparent reference to general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s statement that Rahul Gandhi’s silence on critical issues had contributed to the Congress’ loss in the “war of perception”.
However, Congress spokesman Salman Khurshid officially denied that the party had issued any gag order. “I don’t think it (letter by secretaries) was in the form or nature of disagreement. Since the media is not getting much news from BJP, it is getting more interested in this letter,” he said.
“No one has violated discipline. People are on the same side. They are on the same page,” he added. Dismissing suggestions that some seniors have been ticked off, he said, “Many ideas come, which everybody shares.”