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Published On: Sun, Dec 3rd, 2017

PM Modi Narendra Modi Praised Shehzad Poonawalla

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17_04_2017-pmmodi17NEW DELHI :  Shehzad Poonawalla — the Congress leader who called the party’s internal polls to elect its chief “rigged” — today found support from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who lauded him and used his claims to hit out at the Congress. Buoyed, Mr Poonawalla later said he has an audio tape that he wants to make pub
The tape, he said, was of his conversation with the party’s senior leader Manish Tiwari, who had “insulted” him. Mr Poonwalla’s second outburst came as notifications were issued for the internal elections.
Last week, the 30-year-old Maharashtra Congress Secretary, who indicated that he wanted to contest the election, had alleged that it was a sham since Rahul Gandhi enjoys an “unfair advantage”. In a letter to Mr Gandhi, he demanded that he resign the vice president’s post to level the field and enter a televised debate and “be judged on merit” rather than his surname.
Shehzad Poonwalla has alleged that Rahul Gandhi enjoys an “unfair advantage” due to his surname.Today, Mr 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.
“Manish Tewari said, ‘Look what you’re talking about is reforms, if you want a political career put this on the side’… I kept a recording of Manish Tewari’s phone call – all this because Congress insulted me,” Mr Poonawalla told reporters. The alleged Congress backlash was happening when “the man (Modi) I have previously criticised is now lauding my bravery,” he said.
“Manish Tewari said, ‘Look what you’re talking about is reforms, if you want a political career put this on the side’… I kept a recording of Manish Tewari’s phone call – all this because Congress insulted me,” Mr Poonawalla told reporters.

The alleged Congress backlash was happening when “the man (Modi) I have previously criticised is now lauding my bravery,” he said.PM Modi, who is canvassing for votes for the assembly elections in Gujarat that begins on Saturday, had mentioned Mr Poonawalla by name during his speeches today.

“A few days ago, in Navsari, I had said there are three polls whose results are certain. The Uttar Pradesh local polls, the Gujarat polls where I said BJP will win, and the Congress President election, where one family will win,” he said.  In this context, he mentioned Mr Poonawalla, saying the Congress has tried to “muzzle his voice and wants to even remove him from their social media groups”.

Alleging that the party has no “tolerance”, he said, “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”.
Mr Poonawalla’s comments have been denounced by his brother Tehseen Poonawalla, also a Congress leader. “It is totally unacceptable to me and my family…he should have presented whatever issues he had in the party forum…We now have nothing to do with him,” he said today.
“Today morning, I called Rahul Gandhi’s office for an appointment to provide him proof that it was a rigged (Congress president) election before he files his nomination on Monday,” Poonawalla said, adding that “I thought Rahul Gandhi has some morality and will stop the election process, but his office insulted me.”

“Sardar Patel was denied his due years ago; I contacted @OfficeOfRG even today asking his office to meet me so I could give them proofs about the rigged election of RG- they insulted me just like Patel must have been insulted,” Poonawalla tweeted.

Claiming that the poll process to elect party president has been stacked in Rahul Gandhi’s favour just because he belongs to the Gandhi family Poonawalla took to Twitter and expressed his views by saying, “Raising an issue nobody in my party – the Congress will have guts to raise- my conscience will not allow me to stay quiet anymore on Dynasty/ sycophancy.”

He had tagged his brother Tehseen Poonawalla to his tweet and said, “@tehseenp has no idea about this issue else he would have stopped me too.” Tehseen is the brother-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.

On December 1, when notification was issued for the election to choose the next Congress president, Shehzad alleged that party’s spokesperson Manish Tewari had told him during a conversation that the Congress was a “proprietorship” like every other political party in India.
The Congress had raised questions over Poonawalla’s stature in the party and slammed him for showing disgruntlement on the eve of election. Maharashtra Congress unit and his family members have virtually “disowned” Shehzad.

State Congress president Ashok Chavan has said Poonawalla’s remarks were aimed at getting “cheap publicity”, to which the party gives no importance.
Meanwhile, Mr Poonwalla’s second outburst came as notifications were issued for the internal elections. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, a longtime loyalist of the Gandhi family, signed nomination papers proposing Rahul Gandhi’s name for the post of the president and said his elevation would help revive the party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.”
Alleging that the party has no “tolerance”, he said, “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”.(With Agency Inputs ).

 

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