Rahul issues gag order for Congress loose cannons
By Santwana Bhattacharya | Published: 23rd July 2013 10:46 AM |
Even before the Kidki — a Congress web-portal — was launched at the party’s much-publicised two-day media conclave on Monday in the run up to the electoral battle ahead, a window was closed to stop loose talk. Came a diktat from Rahul Gandhi: Don’t air personal views when using social media platforms, toe the party line or face consequences.
According to Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Rahul flagged of the party’s media conclave on a stern note: “Spokespersons and panelists may have their individual views, but as party spokespersons and panelists you have to be within the party line. We cannot go beyond party ideology. Those who go beyond will be noticed and action will taken.’’
Coming against the backdrop of senior leader Shakeel Ahmed and party MP Rashid Masood’s controversial remarks that kicked up a political storm (giving its main rival, the BJP, a ready handle to settle scores and accuse the grand old party of “communalising national security”), it did not take much guessing for the 200-odd Congress delegates attending the conclave as to what Rahul was hinting at. Both the Congressmen had linked the sprouting of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen to the 2002 Gujarat riots sparking off a bitter slugfest between the two major political parties. However, Ahmed is not new to such controversies nor is he the only one to be gagged by the party for crossing the line.
Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and AICC in-charge of several key States, Digvijaya Singh, is by now a veteran at it and so is Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma.