The BJP on Sunday termed the Congress’s claim of being the only party where internal polls occur a ”joke” and mockingly asked if it is celebrating April Fool’s Day in October when the election is scheduled. ”It’s a joke,” BJP IT department head Amit Malviya said after the Congress fixed October 17 as the date for its president’s poll and claimed it is the only party in the country which undertakes such a democratic exercise.
BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla sarcastically asked, ”Is April Fool’s Day being celebrated in October this year.” Everyone knows the veracity of this ”cosmetic and eye wash” exercise passed off as an election, he said.
“The Congress is essentially a democracy-mukt and accountability-mukt party. Family is more important than performance and sycophancy trumps merit. Or there would be no clamour for someone under whom it has lost 39 of 49 state elections and two Lok Sabha polls to lead the party again,” he said in a swipe at Rahul Gandhi.
”This is nothing more than a selection or a Mughal sultanate-style coronation that’s made to look like an election,” Poonawalla alleged. He said leaders no less than Ghulam Nabi Azad, who recently quit the Congress and slammed Rahul Gandhi and the proposed poll process, among others, have called the internal election a ”sham”.
Poonawalla, who was in the Congress before joining the BJP, noted that he had himself wanted to contest its organisational poll but was denied the chance as it would have exposed its ”Mughal-style” coronation. Ending speculation, the Congress on Sunday announced that elections for its president will be held on October 17.
Its general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, ”The Congress is the only party in which elections at various levels and especially for the post of the president have taken place, will take place and keep taking place.”
Incumbent Sonia Gandhi is the longest-serving party president and has been at the helm since 1998 barring a two-year period between 2017-19 when his son Rahul Gandhi was in the post. The last time the Congress held an internal poll was in 2000.
Poonawalla alleged that Ramesh’s claims are an afterthought following Azad’s scathing criticism backed by several leaders. He alleged the entire polling process in the Congress is ”rigged” as preferred delegates are placed by the Gandhi family to effect a result desired by it.
Poonawalla likened the Congress election to a poll in the North Korean dictatorship and claimed that many Congress leaders have already weighed in on the issue by quitting the party. It is a family enterprise now, he alleged.