Tehseen Poonawalla, brother of Maharashtra Congress Secretary Shehzad Poonawalla who called out the party's president election 'rigged', has refused to be associated with his brother, citing he should have voiced his grievances at the party forum instead of taking it to Twitter or the media.
"He never discussed with me, my wife or my mother about what he was up to. Any grievances Shehzad had in the party can be brought up in the inter-party forum. There is no need to go to the media and bring out these things," Tehseen Poonawalla told ANI, and added, "I formally and firmly declare in front of the media - my wife, my mother and I have nothing to do with Shehzad Poonawalla; we refuse to be associated with him."
"Such a huge party and not one person is raising a voice shows that Shehzad might have been misguided on what he's saying," he added.
Earlier yesterday, Shehzad Poonawalla, claiming that the poll process to elect the Congress president was stacked in Rahul's favour just because he belongs to the Gandhi family, took to Twitter and said, "Raising an issue nobody in my party - the Congress will have guts to raise- my conscience will not allow me to stay quiet anymore on Dynasty/ sycophancy."
An office-bearer of the Maharashtra Congress, Poonawalla had earlier told the media he would want to contest the election if it was conducted in a genuine manner. Adding to this, he told ANI, "I think there should be only one ticket in one family, be it Shehzad Poonawalla or Rahul Gandhi."
Reacting to his brother's statement, Tehseen said he was "stunned" on hearing him last night on TV and seeing his tweets, and added that the statement was particularly harmful to the party against the backdrop of Gujarat polls.
"The only leading party that can take on the BJP is Congress and its allies, and we need to strengthen the Congress, and for that we need to strengthen Rahul Gandhi," he added.
Tehseen had also responded to his brother last night through a tweet and said, "I am stunned with what @Shehzad_Ind is doing at the time @INCIndia is winning Gujarat. I officially give up all relationship with him politically. The congress needs @OfficeOfRG to be the president."
In a series of tweets, Tehseen also announced to end his relationship with Shehzad "officially."
Tehseen is married to Rahul's brother-in-law Robert Vadra's sister Monicka. However, he is not a member of the Congress.
However, a letter by Shehzad addressing Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi reveals that he had taken up few matters with him earlier on 15 November, but to no avail.
"I am saddened that there has been no response to my letter to you dated 15th November 2017 in which I had requested your valuable time to discuss issues relating to civil rights ( including minority rights for certain communities like Hindus and Kashmiri Pandits in Punjab, J&K ) and the most important issue of dynasty and fair opportunity to non-dynasts within the party," the letter dated 30 November read.