In Poonawalla’s ‘Shehzad’ vs ‘shehzada’ debate, enter PM Modi with a dig at Cong
Shehzad Poonawalla, a Congress leader from Maharashtra, has vowed to continue his fight against “dynasty politics”, saying he “will not be cowed down by attempts to silence me”.india Updated: Dec 04, 2017 10:59 IST
Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla, who has alleged that the election to the party president’s post is rigged to favour Rahul Gandhi, continued with his tirade against the party on Sunday and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support.
Speaking to the media in New Delhi, Poonawalla said the Congress had “no place for Shehzad (himself) but for shehzada (Congress vice-president Gandhi)”.
In the run-up to the election that is expected to elevate Gandhi to the party’s top post, Poonawalla has kicked up a storm by raising questions over the process. He has alleged that party spokesperson Manish Tewari had told him that the Congress was a “proprietorship” like every other political party in India.
On Sunday, Poonawalla vowed to continue his fight against “dynasty politics” and said on Twitter he “will not be cowed down by attempts to silence me”. The Maharashtra leader also asked whether “Emergency has returned to dynasty’s DNA?”
“Sardar Patel was denied his due years ago. I contacted @OfficeOfRG (Rahul Gandhi’s office) even today (Sunday) asking his office to meet me so I could give them proof about the rigged election of Rahul Gandhi -- they insulted me just like Patel must have been insulted,” he posted.
Thanking the Prime Minister’s Office, he also highlighted that Modi praised him while “dynasty slaves of @OfficeOfRG who I served selflessly for 8-9 years (who cheer for Yashwant, Shourie) removed me!”
PM Modi had targeted the Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi family earlier in the day and praised Poonawalla for his action.
“A youngster Shehzad has exposed the rigging that is taking place in the Congress president’s poll. And Shehzad is a senior Congress leader in Maharashtra. The Congress has tried to muzzle his voice and wants to even remove him from their social media groups. What tolerance is this?” Modi said at a rally in Surendranagar in poll-bound Gujarat.
“Those who have no internal democracy can’t work for people. I want to tell this youngster Shehzad -- you have done a brave thing but this is sadly what has always happened in the Congress,” he said.
The Congress hit back, questioning PM Modi over “internal democracy” in his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Dear PM, your love for ‘Shahzad’,’Shah-Zada’ and ‘Shaurya’ is now well known. But nation wants to know when will you reply to the questions raised by senior BJP leaders Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Twitter.
“Modiji, do tell Gujarat and country about the victims of yours and Amit Shah’s internal democracy in BJP, namely - Lal Krishan Advani, Keshubhai Patel, Hiren Pandya, Kanshiram Rana, Anandiben Patel, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sanjay Joshi, who were compulsorily lost in pages of history.”