Maharashtra Congress state unit secretary Shehzad Poonawalla on Monday changed his Twitter profile to protest against Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as party president. Poonawalla said it was a black day for the party and used Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to Mughal ruler Aurangzeb to criticise Gandhi.
The rule of Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal emperor, marked the slow decline of the empire. “Coronation panel or selection panel you mean. [The] Aurangzeb-style coronation will be challenged on basis of facts and evidence in the people’s court and other courts,” Poonwalla said on Twitter. “He will be unseated from Akbar Road and Amethi.”
Rahul Gandhi was named the next president of the Congress on Monday. “Rahul Gandhi is [being] officially announced as [the] unelected, illegal, unconstitutional crown prince of my party,” Poonawalla tweeted on Tuesday.
Poonawalla had voiced his opposition to “dynasty politics” and urged Gandhi to resign as the party’s vice-president and contest as an ordinary member of Congress. Speaking to several media organisations, Poonawalla asked if Gandhi had risen to his current post because of his surname or because of the work he had done.
Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan had criticised Poonawalla for speaking against Gandhi and accused him of trying to get some “cheap publicity”. He accused Poonawalla of not doing anything for the party over the past two-and-a-half years. “I don’t think there is any truth in what Shehzad is saying,” Chavan said. “Moreover, he is not a Congressman.”