No rivalry among leaders: Congress

Facing tough questions over its 'gag order' asking leaders other than spokespersons not to articulate the party position, Congress on Wednesday dismissed any rivalry among its leaders and said discipline is necessary in any party.

New Delhi: Facing tough questions over its 'gag order' asking leaders other than spokespersons not to articulate the party position, Congress on Wednesday dismissed any rivalry among its leaders and said discipline is necessary in any party.

"There is no gag order and we all sit together. But there cannot be multiple positions on an issue within the party. Spokespersons comment as per the approved line of the party. All parties will do so," party spokesman Anand Sharma said, ruling out any internal rivalry in the organisation.

"A number of times, it was noticed that people said something going astray from the party's official line," he told reporters.

Justifying the party's decision, Sharma, who is one of the most experienced spokespersons of the party, said that every political party has an authorised line on every issue which is reiterated through its spokespersons.

He dismissed a question whether the AICC's action of putting out its list of official spokespersons and the subsequent strong reactions by former minister Manish Tewari and senior leader Rashid Alvi pointed to an internal rivalry.

"Why should be any rivalry among Congress leaders," he wondered. At the same time, he said that there "will be ambitions, aspirations and competition in any political party".

Two days ago, Congress had clamped a gag order to restrain its leaders from speaking out of turn, drawing a sharp response from two defiant leaders Tewari and Alvi who had said it is not time for fighting and humiliating each other.

The action was seen in party circles as a snub to leaders like Tewari and Alvi as certain remarks by them were not found in tandem with the party's official line.

But unfazed by the party's gag order, a defiant Tewari and Alvi had said they would continue to express their viewpoints even while maintaining that it's time to fight communalism and "not fight and humiliate" each other.

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