POST TIME: 5 December, 2017 01:21:17 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 5 December, 2017 10:12:23 AM
Modi likens Rahul’s ascent to Mughal era
Rahul Gandhi set to be Congress chief

Modi likens Rahul’s ascent to Mughal era

Rahul Gandhi was set to be Congress president in place of his mother Sonia Gandhi, elected unopposed after the last day for filing nominations passed yesterday without any challenger emerging. An official announcement is expected today as the party is "completing all processes", according to sources, says NDTV.

Meanwhile, after Rahul’s filing of nomination, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dig at the party saying he wanted to congratulate them for ushering in 'their Aurangzeb Raj', according to Times of India. Modi was referring to absolutist 17th century Mughal monarch Aurangzeb, and in comparing his reign to the Congress party's internal elections, he was attempting to say there is no intra-party democracy in the grand old party.

"I congratulate the Congress on their 'Aurangzeb Raj.' For us, the well-being of the people matters and 125 crore Indians are our high command," said Modi at a poll campaign rally in Gujarat.

The PM claimed it was senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar who first compared the Mughal empire's practice of primogeniture to the elevation of Rahul as Congress president after his mother.

"Mani Shankar Aiyar said that 'did elections happen during Mughal rule? After Jehangir, Shahjahan came, was any election held? After Shahjahan it was understood Aurangzeb will be the leader'. So Congress accepts it's a family party? We don't want this Aurangzeb rule," said Modi.

Aiyar however soon hit back and sought to remind Modi

that unlike in Aurangzeb's time, anyone from the party is free to contest elections for the post of Congress president.

"Don't compare both, during 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 a totally democratic process," said Aiyar.

It appears that earlier, Aiyar referred to Aurangzeb when he was asked about rebel Congress member from Maharashtra Shehzad Poonawala who last week alleged that elections within the party were "rigged". Aiyar contested Poonawalla's allegation saying anyone from the Congress could contest the party president election, reported IANS news agency.

"When Shah Jahan came in the place of Jahangir did any election happen? And when Aurangzeb came in place of Shah Jahan did any election happen? It was known to everyone that the throne of the king will automatically go to the heir...But in a democracy elections are held. I openly invite Poonawala to file the nomination and contest," said Aiyar.

Earlier yesterday, Rahul filed his nomination+ for the post of president in the Congress party. Former Prime Minister Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced Rahul's nomination. The current president and Rahul's mother, Sonia, led the party for 19 years. She has had health problems but the party has long kept a veil over her personal health. The 47-year-old Gandhi scion is likely to emerge as the lone candidate in the fray.

Monday was the last date for filing nominations. No one else had filed papers as of Sunday, according to Mullapally Ramachandran, the chairman of the party's Central Election Authority. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is December 11, and the poll, if necessary, will be held on December 16 while counting will take place on December 19.