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Congress poll not like Mughal rule, process totally democratic: Mani Shankar Aiyar hits back after PM's 'Aurangzeb jibe'

Congress poll not like Mughal rule, process totally democratic: Mani Shankar Aiyar hits back after PM
Highlights

Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Monday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his -'Aurangzeb-' jibe and sought to remind him that...

Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Monday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his 'Aurangzeb' jibe and sought to remind him that unlike in the Mughal rule, the president election process in the Congress Party was totally 'democratic'.

Speaking to ANI, Aiyar said, "Don't compare both. During the Mughal rule, it was understood that after Jehangir, Shahjahan will be the leader, but here anyone is free to contest against Rahul Gandhi. It’s totally a democratic process."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today slammed Rahul Gandhi's expected elevation as Congress President, dubbing it as "Aurangzebi raj".

Without referring to the National Herald case, in which Rahul Gandhi had got bail, Modi, addressing a campaign rally in Valsad district of Gujarat, said, "Congress has gone bankrupt, as it is going to make a person who is out on bail in corruption case its president."

Taking potshots at the opposition party, the prime minister said, "Mani Shanker Aiyar who was a minister in Congress government said 'did elections happen during Mughal rule? After Jahangir, Shahjahan came, was any election held? After Shahjahan it was understood that Aurangzeb would be the leader.'

"Does the Congress accept that it is a family party? We don't want this Aurangzeb rule," Modi said.

Earlier, Maharashtra Shehzad Poonawalla, who had called out the party's president election 'rigged', called the entire procedure to be a coronation."I have objection with this election procedure which is rather a coronation. I would like to tell Rahul to ask his people to wait with a crown and coronate him as soon as he reaches the place," said Shehzad.Shehzad also expressed his concern regarding the presentation of a dummy candidate in the election procedure.

"As per my sources, Congress will have take support of a dummy candidate so the entire procedure seems like an election. I think people shouldn't be deceived," added Shehzad.Rahul Gandhi on Monday filed his nomination papers for the post of party chief at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi.

Rahul Gandhi files nomination paper
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today filed his nomination papers for the post of party president, paving the way for a generational shift in the leadership of the party headed by his mother Sonia Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by a host of senior party leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, as he filed his papers to become the party president.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, one of the leaders who have proposed Rahul's name, was not present.

The 47-year-old Gandhi scion is likely to emerge as the lone candidate in the fray, clearing the decks for his elevation to the party's top post, succeeding his mother, who has held the post for 19 years in a row.

"Rahul ji has been the darling of the Congress...," Manmohan Singh told reporters at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters.

"Congress president Smt Sonia Gandhi has served the Congress party and, through the Congress party, the country for the last 19 years. This is yet another step forward in that direction. Rahul Gandhi will carry on the great traditions of the Congress party," he said.

Rahul Gandhi arrived at the Congress headquarters around 10.30 am and filed his papers around 11 am. There were five sets of nomination forms filed on his behalf by top Congress leaders, including CWC members, party general secretaries, in-charge in various states and chief ministers of party-ruled states.

Among those who proposed Rahul Gandhi's name in the first set of nomination papers were Sonia Gandhi, Motilal Vora, Ahmed Patel, Mohsina Kidwai, Kamal Nath, Ashok Gehlot, Mukul Wasnik, Sheila Dikshit, Tarun Gogoi and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy.

Party leaders Manmohan Singh, Oscar Fernandes, P Chidambaram, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Anand Sharma, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his Meghalaya counterpart Mukul Sangma proposed his name in the second set of nomination papers.

Today is the last date for filing nominations.

No one else had filed papers till Sunday, said Mullapally Ramachandran, the chairman of the party's Central Election Authority.

Rahul Gandhi sought the blessings of former president Pranab Mukherjee and Manmohan Singh before filing his nomination, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.

The last date for withdrawal of the candidature is December 11. The poll, if necessary, will be held on December 16 and the counting will take place on December 19.

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