As Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination papers for the post of Congress president, leader Shehzad Poonawalla on Monday called it a “black day” for the party. Taking to Twitter, Poonawalla reiterated that the election is a “farce,” and claimed the party was fielding a “dummy” candidate against Gandhi. Poonawalla’s remarks come days after he first alleged that the organisational polls were rigged to favour Gandhi.

Brushing aside Poonawalla’s “silly” comments, the Congress had initially said the party does not get blackmailed by anyone.

A day before the election process began, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised Poonawalla’s remarks while campaigning for the Gujarat elections in Surendranagar. At a rally on Sunday, Modi had said, “A youth named Shehzad Poonawalla called the process to elect the Congress president as rigged… he said democratic values in this election have been torn apart in public view.”

“Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel got more votes than Jawaharlal Nehru when the Congress party had (then) met to decide who will be the prime minister of the country. But that the election was rigged and Nehru won,” Modi had alleged.

Taking to Twitter following Modi’s rally, Poonawalla had thanked Modi, and added, “I will continue my fight against dynasty politics — I will not be cowed down by attempts to silence me.”

“Sardar Patel was denied his due years ago.

I contacted @OfficeOfRG (Rahul Gandhi’s office) even today (Sunday) asking his office to meet me so I could give them proof about the rigged election of Rahul Gandhi — they insulted me just like Patel must have been insulted,” he had tweeted.

Targeting the BJP after Modi’s rally, the Congres has, in turn, turn questioned the saffron party’s democracy. Party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala Sunday tweeted, “Dear PM, your love for ‘Shahzad’,’Shah-Zada’ and ‘Shaurya’ is now well known. But nation wants to know when will you reply to the questions raised by senior BJP leaders Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha.”

“Modiji, do tell Gujarat and country about the victims of yours and Amit Shah’s internal democracy in BJP, namely — Lal Krishan Advani, Keshubhai Patel, Hiren Pandya, Kanshiram Rana, Anandiben Patel, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sanjay Joshi, who were compulsorily lost in pages of history,” he added.