Did some Congress leaders sent an SOS letter to their party president Sonia Gandhi criticising the current state of the main opposition party? Former party spokesperson Sanjay Jha’s claim to that effect may have been denied by the party, but at least one other person confirmed that a letter had indeed been written and delivered on Independence Day to 10, Janpath, Gandhi’s residence. The signatories, this leader said, included former ministers and Chief Ministers although neither was available for comment and HT was unable to verify this.
The party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala took to Twitter to rebut Jha whose claim created a buzz in Congress circles. He called it a ploy by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to divert attention from the issue of the ruling party’s links with Facebook.
“Special Misinformation Group on Media-TV Debate Guidance in its Whatsapp of today directed to run the story of a non-existent letter of Congress leaders to divert attention from Facebook-BJP links. Of course, BJP stooges have started acting upon it,” Surjewala tweeted.
His reference is to the controversy surrounding a Wall Street Journal story that said Facebook’s India policy chief had advised against acting against an account belonging to a BJP leader for hate speech.
Earlier in the day, Jha claimed that about 100 leaders of the Congress party, including Members of Parliament, wrote to Gandhi on the leadership issue , seeking transparent elections to the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body.
“It is estimated that around 100 Congress leaders (including MP’s), distressed at the state of affairs within the party, have written a letter to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, asking for change in political leadership and transparent elections in CWC. Watch this space,” Jha had tweeted.
In a virtual news conference, Congress spokespersons Supriya Shrinate and Pranav Jha said “no such letter has been written or received” by the party, alleging the issue is being raised at the behest of the BJP to divert the attention its nexus with Facebook.
Jha was suspended from the Congress last month for “anti-party activities and breach of discipline” following his criticism of the leadership over the handling of the political turmoil in Rajasthan in the wake of rebellion by Sachin Pilot and 18 other legislators.
And before that, Jha was sacked as a Congress spokesperson after he criticised the party leadership in an article.