Just two days after Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla made an explosive charge saying that polls within the party to elect the next party president were rigged in favour of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Times Now has accessed sensational tapes that finally reveal the 70-year-old ‘open secret’ in the Grand Old Party – that the Congress is not a political party but a family-run proprietorship.
As per the tapes that have been made available to Times Now by Shehzad Poonawalla (the party dissenter, whose conversation with senior Congress leaders Manish Tewari, Acharya Pramod Krishnam and Sandeep Dikshit is heard on the tapes), it is inadvertently disclosed by party veterans that the elections to elect the party chief are indeed rigged.
The Congress party’s internal polls are set to be held in the next five days.
Meanwhile, shortly after the expose, the Election Commission took note of the issue and said that the petitioner could move court on the matter.
On the tapes, Tewari, a former minister in the UPA government admits that the Congress is a “proprietary” and “not a political party”.
In the incriminating conversation, the ex-Delhi MP does not deny that the polls are rigged and instead tries to explain to Poonawalla how the system works within the party.
When Poonawalla points out that proper procedure had not been followed in the selection of delegates before the polls, Tewari attempts to reason with him, saying “Have you thought all this through? Because this is a one-way ticket out of the party.”
Later, when Poonawalla persists, Tewari can be heard saying, “Let’s not get into an idealistic discussion, the fact is, this is a proprietary (party). Congress is not a political party and no party in India is a political party.”
On Tuesday, Shehzad Poonawalla, the spokesperson of the Congress party and a relative of the Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, had revealed that he has written to Rahul Gandhi’s office claiming that the poll process has been stacked in Rahul Gandhi’s favour just because he belongs to the Gandhi family.
However, soon after his claims, several party leaders had dismissed his allegations, calling him a disgruntled party worker and had added that, in fact, he was not a member of the Congress.
Poonawalla had refuted the charge and on Friday stated,”Senior leaders said I am no longer a member of the Congress party. They said this because if I contest this rigged election, Rahul ji may not win.”
In fact, Poonawalla also did a ‘sting operation’ on Congress Lok Sabha candidate Acharya Pramod Krishnam, who in another telephonic conversation admits, “This is not an election. This is 100% selection”
On the third tape, senior leader of the Delhi Congress unit, Sandeep Dikshit is also heard allegedly giving a patient hearing to Poonawalla’s grievances.
In his emails, he has alleged that delegates who form panel are not elected by a secret norm as per party constitution, but the delegates have been appointed at the behest of state presidents who owe their careers to the Gandhi family.
Speaking to Times Now, Poonawalla has suggested that Rahul Gandhi should step down from his post as the vice-president and contest the elections as an ordinary member of the Congress.
47-year-old Rahul Gandhi is set to be ‘coronated’ as the party President on December 19. A member of Parliament from Amethi, Uttar Pradesh and Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, Rahul Gandhi currently serves as the vice-president of the Congress, the chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India.
He is the second-highest-ranked member of the Congress Working Committee. His mother Sonia Gandhi is the party president.
Source : Times Now