In what appears to be an affirmation of the charges of nepotism and dynastic politics against the Congress, Shashi Tharoor while speaking at the Jaipur Literature Fest on Thursday, has equated the Gandhi family with the Congress and even said that there is no alternative among the Congress party apart from the Gandhis.
"Now it so happens in the Congress, the DNA of the party is inextricably linked to that of the Gandhi family. If tomorrow there was a free and fair election pitting our present Congress president against any one you could care to name from the Congress party I assure you he would win the election hands down amongst Congress workers.
In the Congress party if we wish to persue certain ideals, we accept the party the way it is , then the question you asked becomes irrelevant, that is not a question we need to ask ourselves indeed in the way Mr Modi's supporters say there is no alternative among the Congress party there is no alternative," he said.
His statement comes a day after the induction of Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra into Congress as the Uttar Pradesh (East) General Secretary. The move was met with criticisms that the party was continuing with dynastic politics.
Earlier on Thursday, top BJP sources have told Republic TV that the ruling saffron party quite confident on contesting against the newly appointed member of the Opposition party. Speaking to Republic TV, top BJP sources said that the party is ready to fight against Priyanka Gandhi, the way they fought against former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
While the Congress assumes that Priyanka Gandhi's entry into the politics will work as a masterstroke in the northern state for the party weeks ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls, the top BJP sources have raised questions over Gandhi's appointment for the Uttar Pradesh east region, which also comprises Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi. Furthermore, the sources have also told Republic TV that the BJP party is confident get the benefit from the three-way battle in Uttar Pradesh - between BJP-led NDA, Congress-led UPA and the newly formed alliance of Mayawati's BSP and Akhilesh Yadav's SP.
The BJP sources also revealed that PM Narendra Modi will be contesting from his of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Priyanka Gandhi is expected to take up her new post on February 4, starting with a joint press briefing with Congress president Rahul Gandhi.