Tewari, Alvi defying party's gag order: Direct challenge to Sonia, Rahul's authority?

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Has Rahul Gandhi's popularity dipped within Congress
Congress is facing yet another internal feud after the leadership in grand old party of India decided to gag its leaders from expressing their opinion in the public domain.

The party general secretary Ajay Maken even came out a with a list of 5 senior spokespersons and 13 spokespersons of party. Maken who is chief of the party's Media Department said that only few listed people were authorised to talk to media on party's behalf.

"Only the spokespersons in the linked list are authorised to speak on behalf of the party", Ajai Maken said. He also released a list of 5 senior spokespersons and 13 spokesperson of party.

The AICC's gag orders have probably not gone down well with the senior leaders whose names are missing from the list.

Senior leaders Manish Tewari and Rashid Alvi, who's names were missing from the list, have expressed their displeasure over the same. Tewari, former Information and Broadcasting Minister, and Alvi are two popular faces of the Congress on television. This incident has once again brought the rift within the Congress out in the open.

"I do not require a noun or a adjective behind my noun to intervene in the public discourse as a party activist I do not hold myself out as the spokesperson. I ceased to be national spokesperson of the INC in October 2012. When I intervene in the public discourse, I do as an ordinary Congress worker," Tewari said on Twitter.

No dearth of Congress's infighting

Ever since the party's worst Lok Sabha poll debacle, the Congress has been consistently witnessing infighting within the party. Several leaders have openly criticised the party's president and vice president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, respectively, for its poll drubbing.

Party general secretaries like Janardan Dwivedi and Digvijay Singh had also kicked off an infighting between the party old guards and young leaders by making remarks that included prescribing an age limit for holding active posts and suggesting that Rahul Gandhi should be seen more active in politics.

Coming out against the old guard and in support of Rahul Gandhi, a group of young Congress leaders decided to write to senior leaders against damaging the party's image and making controversial statements outside party fora.

Has Rahul Gandhi's popularity dipped within Congress?

There were several instances when the party leaders held the Congress scion responsible for the party's loss in the LS poll. Some openly took cudgel against Rahul while others did it in a diplomatic manner, but conclusion was drawn that mostly seasoned politicians were hatching plan against the Congress vice-president.

The recent gag episode has also not gone down well with the senior Congress leaders. Statements of such kind coming from senior leaders like Tewaris and Alvis hint that gone are the days when the party cadre was afraid of the Gandhi-family, which had the last say in the party's decision making. This defiance cements the fact that Rahul Gandhi's popularity within the party ranks has taken a severe beating and he is no more the whole and sole of the Congress.

If things go the way they are, then soon Gandhi-family and Congress the two names which have been synonymous to each other for decades will be soon become extinct from Indian politics.

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