Rahul Gandhi has filed the nomination for the post of Congress president, paving the way for his much-awaited elevation and setting the stage for a contest against PM Narendra Modi ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Addressing a rally in Gujarat, Modi termed the elevation as “Aurangzeb raj”. Rahul's big moment has been shadowed by a rebellion of sorts from Maharashtra Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla, who says the elections are "rigged". "Congress had “no place for Shehzad, but for shehzada (prince)," he says.
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Dec 4, 2017 7:06 pm (IST)
Senior BJP leader and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today claimed that ordinary Congress workers are feeling humiliated and sad with party vice president Rahul Gandhi filing nomination papers for the post of party president.
Sarma, one of the most prominent leaders of the Congress in Assam before joining the saffron party, also said that despite belonging to the 21st century, Gandhi missed a historical opportunity to free the Congress from dynastic and feudal politics.
"By getting ready to file nomination for Congress President in what's a terribly opaque process @OfficeOfRG has humiliated ordinary workers. #ShameYouDynast," Sarma tweeted.
1/As a youth of 21st Century Rahul Gandhi missed a historical opportunity to free @INCIndia from dynastic & feudal politics. By getting ready to file nomination for Congress President in what's a terribly opaque process @OfficeOfRG has humiliated ordinary workers#ShameYouDynast
The BJP on Monday mocked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's 'definite election' as party chief, saying now only his favourite pet dog 'Pidhi' would matter and Congress supporters should get ready to 'salute Pidhi', reports IANS.
"Congratulations to Rahul Gandhi on his definite election as Congress President. Now, neither the old generation, nor new generation matters. Only Rahul's favourite Pidhi matters. Friends of Congress, get ready to salute Pidhi," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson G.V.L. Narsimha Rao said in a tweet attaching a picture of Gandhi's pet Pidhi.
कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष के रूप में अपने "निश्चित" चुनाव पर राहुल गांधी को बधाई। अब, न तो "पुरानी पीढ़ी" और न ही "नई पीढ़ी" मायने रखती है. राहुल की पसंदीदा "पिधी" केवल मायने रखती है. कांग्रेस के दोस्तों, "पिधी" को सलाम करने के लिए तैयार हो जाओ. @OfficeOfRG@INCIndiapic.twitter.com/IA4cNtgBgX
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, hit out at the BJP for questioning Congress' organisational election process. He said it was the saffron party, which does not follow democracy within its fold."...those who have trust in machines to win votes, are preaching us on democracy," Azad said, reiterating his party's 'EVM tampering' charge against the BJP.
Terming Gandhi as a 'capable' leader, Azad exuded confidence the former will turn out to be a 'very successful' leader. 'And under his leadership, the Congress will regain power,' PTI quoted him as saying.
Dec 4, 2017 5:29 pm (IST)
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar criticised the election strategy adopted by the Congress in Gujarat and said the party was 'veering towards extremism'. The talks of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi being a 'janeu-dhari Hindu' (one who wears the sacred thread) and the deliberate sidelining of top leaders like Ahmed Patel indicate a worrying trend in the grand old party, Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of his weekly 'Lok Samvad' programme.
As the country is divided over the way Rahul Gandhi's ascent to the seat of power in Congress is being held, we look at possible, strong contenders who could be inducted into his close circle.
Dec 4, 2017 4:30 pm (IST)
Criticising dynasty politics, Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla said, Rahul Gandhi is not the president of Congress but has been anointed like a Mughal king in line of dynastic hereditary succession. He further said, It’s a black day as a person who lacks merit and has been a perpetual underperformer has been promoted for every failure of his at the behest of a dynastic system led by his mother.
Rahul Gandhi is not president of Congress but has been anointed like a Mughal king in line of dynastic hereditary succession: Shehzad Poonawalla pic.twitter.com/3IxaiA1pC5
Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh were the main proposers for Rahul Gandhi. Scrutiny of papers will be done by 3pm tomorrow and if they are found to be in order, and no other delegate files nomination papers, Rahul will be declared unopposed for the Congress's top post, reports CNN-News18's Senior Political Editor Pallavi Ghosh. Party sources said no other nomination has been filed.
Dec 4, 2017 3:27 pm (IST)
Shashi Tharoor congratulates and gives his best to Rahul Gandhi:
"Such comments from a Prime Minister are baffling. He knows that he hasn't stayed true to the promises made in 2014. He is rattled by the growing popularity of Rahul Gandhi. Congress has always conducted elections in a democratic manner, even from the booth level. It's as democratic as it gets. We are now looking towards 2019 under Rahul ji's leadership," says Congress leader Pawan Bansal.
Dec 4, 2017 2:19 pm (IST)
"This is a good sign that the young brigade is stepping forward. I hope he takes India to great heights where everyone lives with harmony. The post of PM lies in distant future, for now he must work hard to unite India and bring everyone together," says Farooq Abdullah on Rahul Gandhi.
"Don't compare both, during Mughal rule it was understood that after Jehangir, Shahjahan will be the leader but here anyone is free to contest against Rahul Gandhi, it's a totally democratic process. PM Narendra Modi himself is the biggest dictator and he is teaching us," clarifies Mani Shankar Aiyar.
Dec 4, 2017 1:27 pm (IST)
"Today is a day of celebration and optimism as the dreams of lakhs of Congress workers are near reality. This is true democracy. A new team Congress will serve the people of India and address the aspirations of 1.2 billion people," tweets Gaurav Gogoi.
Dec 4, 2017 1:21 pm (IST)
Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma wishes Rahul Gandhi after he files his nomination:
"Congress has become a burden on this nation, now would be good if after Rahul Gandhi's elevation once and for all this burden is removed," says UP CM Yogi Adityanath.
Dec 4, 2017 12:52 pm (IST)
Meanwhile, Jammu & Kashmir National Conference leader Omar Abdullah wished Rahul Gandhi and tweeted, "As Rahul Gandhi files his nomination to take over the Grand Old Party of India (Congress) I wish him all the very best going ahead. Expectations are high, challenges are numerous & I pray for his success."
Dec 4, 2017 12:47 pm (IST)
When talking about Rahul Gandhi's, till now, unopposed nomination as Congress President, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in Hindi. While attacking the Congress Party otherwise, the PM switched to Gujarati.
Dec 4, 2017 12:45 pm (IST)
"Mani Shankar Aiyar said that 'did elections happen during Mughal rule? After Jehangir, Shahjahan came, was an election held? After Shahjahan, it was understood Aurangzeb will be the leader'. So Congress accepts its a family party? We don't want this Aurangzeb rule," says PM Modi.
Dec 4, 2017 12:42 pm (IST)
"I congratulate the Congress on their 'Aurangzeb Raj'. For us, the well-being of the people matters and 125 crore Indians are our high command," says PM Modi.
Dec 4, 2017 12:41 pm (IST)
"Congress can't either tolerate or accept leaders from Gujarat. They have always defamed Gujarat. They put (former Prime Minister) Morarji Desai in jail," says PM Modi.
Dec 4, 2017 12:39 pm (IST)
"Congress party leaders themselves agree that it isn't a party, rather a clan," says PM Modi.
Dec 4, 2017 12:36 pm (IST)
PM Narendra Modi is addressing a rally in Gujarat's Dharampur where he has raked up Mani Shankar Aiyar's reported statement on Rahul Gandhi's elevation. "Mani Shankar Aiyar says it’s like Aurangzeb taking over from Shah Jahan," says PM Modi.
Dec 4, 2017 12:08 pm (IST)
"My congratulations to Rahul Gandhi. It is promotion without performance," chides BJP's Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Dec 4, 2017 12:04 pm (IST)
Congress Anand Sharma addressing the media after Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination for the post of Congress Party President:
"If anyone wants to participate in elections he or she is free to do so, it's going on in a democratic manner. PM Narendra Modi has no business to comment on Congress's internal matter," tweets Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah on Rahul Gandhi filing nomination for Congress Party President post.
Dec 4, 2017 11:59 am (IST)
Congress Leader Ambika Soni speaking to CNN-News18's Sneha Mordani: