Shehzad Poonawala's 'reaction' calls for action, says Congress
State unit unsure if it can take disciplinary action against former MPCC secy for opposing Rahul Gandhi's nomination for the top post
The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) is not sure if it can take disciplinary action against one of its former state committee secretaries, Shehzad Poonawala, who has challenged Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's nomination to the party president's post.
While accusing the party of promoting dynastic politics, Poonawala has alleged that elections for the Congress chief's post are rigged. He has demanded that the election process be made more "transparent" so that any person from the party can contest elections for the top post that Gandhi is likely to take up in December.
Sources in the state Congress said that the Pune resident was an office-bearer in the Manikrao Thakre-led MPCC, but currently, he does not hold any position under the presidentship of Ashok Chavan.
"We will have to find out if he is a primary member of the Congress at this point of time. We can't take any disciplinary action against him unless he is proven as a member," a senior Congress leader said.
Meanwhile, Chavan yesterday dismissed Poonawala's allegations as a publicity gimmick to promote himself. "He made the statement to kick up a controversy and get into the limelight. Poonawala isn't even an MPCC delegate or an office-bearer of the state committee. His statements bear no significance; we don't treat him as anyone important to the organisation," he said.
Accusing Poonawala of being an "inactive" member of the party, Chavan added, "He hasn't done anything consequential in a long time. He is absolutely inactive. The election process is being held in a judicious and transparent manner. All of us in the country want Rahulji to assume reins of the Congress as early as possible."
He said the party's national election committee had declared the election programme well in advance. "The party had given enough time to every member to come forth and nominate candidates of their choice. We at MPCC condemn Poonawala's baseless statements and allegations."
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