Rahul's elevation: PM Modi congratulates Congress on its "Aurangzeb Raj"
Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination for Congress president today, amid high drama. It was marred with controversy as Congress's Mani Shankar Aiyar had a foot-in-mouth moment. During a TV interview, he questioned whether elections happened during Mughal rule. Just like Aurangzeb succeeded Shah Jahan, in Congress, Rahul would succeed Sonia Gandhi. Modi immediately mocked Congress saying "I congratulate the Congress on their Aurangzeb Raj."
How did the events unfold?
Earlier, Shehzad Poonawalla, brother of Tehseen Poonawalla (Robert Vadra's cousin's husband), alleged the elections are rigged. "Congress has no place for Shehzad, but for Shehzada," he said. Responding to this, Aiyar said like the Mughal empire, "it was known that the throne of the king will automatically go to the heir." However, he "invited" Poonawala to file nominations and contest for Congress president's post.
What did Modi have to say?
Modi pounced on Aiyar's remarks. While addressing a rally in Gujarat's Dharampur, Modi said "Mani Shankar Aiyar says it's (Rahul's Congress presidency) like Aurangzeb taking over from Shah Jahan." He claimed "Congress accepts it's a family party." Modi said that "We don't want this Aurangzeb rule"; he said, "For us, the well-being of the people matters and 125 crore Indians are our high command."
Mani Shankar Aiyar issues a clarification
Later, Mani Shankar Aiyar issued a clarification saying "Don't compare both. During Mughal rule it was understood that after Jehangir, Shah Jahan will be the leader but here anyone is free to contest against Rahul Gandhi. It's a totally democratic process."
Meanwhile, wishes poured in for Rahul
Meanwhile, Rahul met former president Pranab Mukherjee and former PM Manmohan Singh before filing his nomination. Singh and mother Sonia had proposed for his candidacy. NC's Omar Abdullah congratulated Rahul saying "Expectations are high, challenges numerous; I pray for his success." Congress's Shashi Tharoor and Anand Sharma also wished Rahul luck. In addition, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah slammed Modi for interfering in Congress's internal matter.