Following the first indications that congressmen are taking sides ahead of next month’s party chairman’s polls for a “non-Gandhi” president, the party has asked its spokesmen and office holders to refrain from commenting on candidates.
The notification, reported by agencies citing sources, came after Congress leader Gourav Vallabh taunted Shashi Tharoor over his likely presidential bid. Vallabh had lent his support to Rajasthan party chairman and chief minister Ashok Gehlot while he was excavating in Tharoor.
Congress General Secretary in charge of the Communications Department, Jairam Ramesh, has urged all “spokespersons and office holders of the AICC’s Communications Department not to comment on a colleague of ours who is voting in the presidential election.” contested by Congress. We all have our individual preferences, but our job is to highlight only the following,” sources said.
Spokespersons must ensure that elections are considered free and fair. If elections are to be held on October 17, so be it. We welcome it,” the sources further quoted the report. In response to his comments, Vallabh had clarified that he had made them in a capacity as a congressman and not as a spokesperson.
“Only one big contribution” jibe at Shashi Tharoor
Vallabh had said in a series of tweets that “if Rahul Gandhi ji stands firm in his decision (not to include the main post of Congress)” and the choice is between “the two names that appear in the public discussion”, then ” there is no comparison between the two,” commented on Gehlot and Tharoor.
He expressed his support for Gehlot, saying that he had 45 years of “flawless” political life and had experience as “Union minister, three-time Prime Minister, five-time MP, five-time MLA” and “Defeated Narendra Modi-Amit Shah in a direct match”.
“On the other hand, there is Shashi Tharoor sahib who has made only one major contribution to the party in the past eight years – letters sent to Congress President Sonia Gandhi ji when she was hospitalized. I. The choice is very simple and clear” he had said.
Meanwhile, Gehlot confirmed his candidacy on Friday, saying that while senior congressional leader Digvijay Singh said he was not in the running for party chairman.
READ | Confirmed! Ashok Gehlot to contest polls for the post of Congress president
(With input from ANI, PTI)