Congress president election: Ayub Ali claims he wasn't allowed to contest, told Rahul Gandhi will be sole candidate

Congress leader Ayub Ali has stoked a controversy by claiming that he was barred from contesting elections to determine the party's national president, and when he tried to file his nomination, he was told that Rahul Gandhi will be the lone candidate.

Ali, Congress' leader from Uttar Pradesh, saw his nomination papers get rejected by party officials, Times Now reported.

According to news agency ANI, Ali told the chairman of Congress' central election authority M Ramachandran that he wants to contest the elections. But Ramachandran rejected his plea and said there will be only one candidate: Rahul Gandhi. He claims Ramachandran didn't even provide him with any valid reason for the rejection.

The party held its presidential polls on 4 December. Accompanied by Manmohan Singh and other party veterans, Rahul presented himself before returning officer Ramachandran.

In all, 89 nominations were filed, and every one of them proposed Rahul Gandhi's name as the next party president, paving the way for the 47-year-old's undisputed elevation.

However, Ali isn't the first voice within Congress to question the process of elections. Maharashtra Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla had earlier called the entire process as "rigged", and asked Gandhi to resign from his post as vice-president first.

File image of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. PTI

File image of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. PTI

He also indicated his desire to contest for the top post if the elections were to be conducted in a "genuine" manner, and wrote a letter to Gandhi in this regard.

He said this is not a election but a "coronation" of Shehzada. "I cannot contest a rigged election. If the system is genuine, only then will I contest," he said.

He also called on the party to have a one family-one ticket rule.

Following his statement, Congress questioned Poonawalla's locus standi, saying he wasn't even a primary member of the party or its representative. His brother Tehseen Poonawalla, also a Congress party member, said he "ended" all relationship with Shehzad.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi "appreciated" Shehzad Poonawala's stand, saying Congress was treating him poorly, and the party has a history of lacking "internal democracy".

If you do not have democracy in your home (party), how can you practise it in the country?," Modi asked, adding that this has always been the case with the Congress.

BJP had also called the generational change in the Congress leadership as "Pidhikaran", a reference to Rahul Gandhi's dog Pidi, saying neither the old "peedhi" nor the new "peedhi" matters in the party.

With inputs from agencies

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Dec 07, 2017 15:01:55 IST

Also See