Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh on Friday reportedly asked all spokespersons and office bearers of the department to refrain from commenting on any colleague contesting the party president’s elections, a day after party leader Gourav Vallabh taunted MP Shashi Tharoor over his probable AICC president poll bid.
On Thursday, Congress spokesperson Vallabh backed Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot as “a better candidate” than Shashi Tharoor for the party’s top post, saying the two cannot even be compared.
Taking a dig at Tharoor, Vallabh said the Congress MP’s only major contribution to the party in the last eight years was sending letters to Congress president Sonia Gandhi when she was hospitalised. “This act caused pain to crores of party workers like me. Thus, the selection is very simple and clear,” he tweeted while clarifying it was his individual opinion.
Tharoor was part of G23 which wrote to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking sweeping reforms within the party.
“I would strongly urge all spokespersons and office bearers of Communications Department of AICC to refrain from making any comment of any kind on any colleague of ours contesting the elections for the post of Congress president,” Ramesh said in his message, news agency PTI reported.
“We all have our individual preferences but our job is to only highlight that the Congress is the only political party to have a democratic and transparent system in place for election to the post of its president,” Ramesh said.
Ramesh told the spokespersons and office bearers of the communications department that their job is to highlight that the Congress is the only political party in India to have an independent election authority to conduct organisational elections, PTI quoted sources as saying.
“If elections have to be held on October 17th so be it. We welcome it. Even so the focus of the entire party organisation should be and indeed is to make the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which has already evoked tremendous response even more of a resounding success,” the sources quoted the Congress general secretary as saying in his message.
Vallabh is also a party spokesperson but he asserted his comments were as a Congress worker and not spokesperson.
On Monday, Tharoor had met Sonia Gandhi and expressed his intention to contest the upcoming AICC chief polls, while the Congress president conveyed that she would stay “neutral” in the elections.