Congress party president elections ‘rigged’, says Maharashtra Congress secretary Shehzad Poonawalla

New Delhi: Maharashtra Congress secretary Shehzad Poonawalla questioned the process to elect party president, calling it “rigged” on Wednesday.

While talking to news agency ANI, Poonawalla said, “I have got info that the delegates who are going to vote for the party president elections are fixed, its rigged. They have been appointed for their loyalty.”

The grand old party leader said Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi must first resign from his post. Poonawalla said he would also contest the election if it was conducted in a “genuine” manner. He also wrote a letter to Rahul Gandhi in this regard on Tuesday.

“I cannot contest a rigged election. If the system is genuine, then I will contest. It is a rigged election…it is a selection. Delegates who are going to vote for this election have not been elected as per the constitutional requirements. They have been handpicked,” he told IANS.


He said, he took courage to speak out and would face criticism for it. “Yes it takes courage to speak out, there will be all kinds of attacks against me, but I have facts,” Poonawalla said.

In his letter to Gandhi, Poonawalla asked several questions.

“Firstly, a common party worker like me joined the party in 2008-09. I spent time, energy and money working voluntarily for the party at all levels and finally got elevated after eight years to the position of a Secretary in a state unit in 2016.

“But how and why (other than your surname) did you in the same time span start off with an MP seat in 2004 itself, get general secretaryship in 2007 and then graduate to vice presidentship of the national unit while your mother was the President?” he wrote.

“Since the delegate system is completely rigged and manipulated, for a fair fight for the presidentship, will you allow real delegates to get appointed and vote rather than a bunch of handpicked ‘yes’ men?

Tehseen Poonawalla, who defended the Congress and Rahul Gandhi over his brother’s statements, posted a tweet last night.

“I really don’t know why Shehzad did this, it’s very surprising, he did not discuss this at all with the family. Washing dirty linen in public is wrong. We now have nothing to do with him, I publicly say this”, while talking to media said Tehseen Poonawalla.