NEW DELHI: Days after Maharashtra Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla raked up claims of the party presidential election process being 'rigged', another leader on Thursday raised questions over the election process.
On Thursday, Congress leader Ayub Ali claimed that his nomination papers for the post of Congress president were rejected by Returning Officer of Congress central election authority Mullapally Ramachandran without any valid reason.
Ayub claimed that the officer at the election authority told him that there could be no other candidate for the post other than Rahul Gandhi himself.
"On December 3, I went to the Returning Officer of Congress central election authority Mullapally Ramachandran and told him that I would like to stand for the Congress President’s post. Suddenly, he got angry and told me that there will only be one candidate – Rahul Gandhi. He then asked me to leave immediately," he told ANI.
"Eighty-nine nominees have been proposed for the post from all over the country. There are two sets of nomination papers to be filed with conditions. Still, Ramachandran ji did not accept my nomination. He could have told me whether I had filed my nominations properly or not," he added.
However, Ramachandran rubbished the Ayub Ali’s claims and denied there being any wrongdoing in filing of nomination.
"No nomination was received before December 4. The form shown by Ayub Ali is also of a wrong format. The forms for nomination were only in English and no Hindi form was issued. There is no receipt or my signature on the same. He is just doing cheap publicity."
Despite not being 'allowed' to contest against Rahul Gandhi, Ali said he would back the elevation of the party vice-president.
"I am not angry with Sonia Ji (Gandhi) and will always remain the leader of the party. When Rahul Gandhi takes over, I will respect him and he will also remain our party's leader. I won't challenge my nomination in the court. I will not allow Congress party to go down the drains," Ayub Ali said.
A few days ago, Poonawalla had dubbed Rahul's election as party chief as "Mughal style coronation" and said it is a "black day" in the history of the grand old party. Notably, he was the first Congress leader who had alleged that the party president's election was rigged to favour Rahul.
He had also alleged that party's spokesperson Manish Tewari had told him during a conversation that the Congress was a "proprietorship" like every other political party in India.