Tewari, Alvi defy gag order, say they will air their views

Unfazed by the party's gag order, defiant senior Congress leaders Manish Tewari and senior leader Rashid Alvi on Monday 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.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 15, 2014, 21:17 PM IST

New Delhi: Unfazed by the party's gag order, defiant senior Congress leaders Manish Tewari and senior leader Rashid Alvi on Monday 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.

Stung by AICC's diktat that only designated spokespersons are authorized to speak on behalf of the party, Tewari, who was acting Chairman of the Media department till sometime back, hit back as did Alvi who was unceremoniously removed as spokesperson last year.

While Tewari said he does not require a "noun or an adjective" with his name to intervene in public discourse, Alvi said Congressmen "should not fight and humiliate each other", suggesting some sort of a rivalry among party leaders for media space.

"I ceased to be national spokesperson of the INC in Oct 2012. When I intervene in the public discourse I do as an ordinary Cong worker who has served the party for 34 yrs. There are certain core convictions I believe in.

"When they are assaulted, I do not require a noun or a adjective behind my noun to intervene in the public discourse as as a party activist I do not hold myself out as the spokesperson," Tewari said in three successive tweets.

His remarks came soon after the AICC press conference addressed by party spokesperson and general secretary Shakeel Ahmed was over in which he had said that there are 18 designated spokespersons in the party and that it is they who are authorized to give the official line of the party.

Alvi said "I always defend Congress party as an ordinary worker and I will continue to defend Congress party. I feel it is my responsibility as this is a very crucial time as the communal forces have not only taken over the country but are spreading communalism."