Zeshan Siddique, Baba Siddique: “Was Told To Lose 10 Kgs To Meet Rahul Gandhi”: Congress Leader’s Charge

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Zeeshan Siddique is an MLA from Mumbai’s Vandre East.

New Delhi:

Zeeshan Siddique, son of former Congress leader Baba Siddique and recently dethroned as the party’s youth wing president of its Mumbai unit, on Thursday claimed an unconventional obstacle he faced in his quest to meet Rahul Gandhi – a weight loss programme.

Mr Siddique claimed that during Congress’ ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Maharashtra’s Nanded, he was informed by people close to Rahul Gandhi that he needed to shed 10 kilograms before being granted an audience with the Congress scion. 

“During the previous ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Nanded, I was told by one of the persons close to Rahul Gandhi that I should lose 10kg before they could let me meet him,” he said. 

Mr Siddique’s accusations against the Congress did not stop at his waistline. The 31-year-old criticised the alleged mistreatment of minority leaders within Congress, accusing the party of a discriminatory and ‘communal’ approach.

“The treatment being meted out to minority leaders and workers in the Congress is unfortunate. The extent of communalism in the Congress and Mumbai Youth Congress is unlike anywhere else. Is it a sin to be a Muslim in the Congress? The party has to answer why am I being targeted? Is it only because I am a Muslim?” he claimed.

Mr Siddique was removed from his post as the Mumbai Youth Congress president on Wednesday, just days after his father Baba Siddique resigned from Congress after being associated with the party for over 50 years. He then joined the Ajit Pawar-led NCP.

The junior Siddique, an MLA from Vandre East, claimed that there was a lack of official communication regarding his removal from the Mumbai Youth Congress chief post. He claimed that despite securing 90 per cent of the votes in the election for the position, it took nine months for the party to appoint him to the role. 

Mr Siddique alleged that Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge “can’t even discharge his responsibilities with full freedom” in the party.

“Mallikarjun Kharge is such a senior leader but even his hands are tied. Rahul Gandhi is doing his job but it looks as if people around him have taken a ‘supari’ (contract) from other parties to finish off the Congress,” he claimed. 

The 31-year-old also voiced concerns about the Congress party’s alliance with Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena faction, as part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi, pointing at Mr Thackeray’s praise for the demolition of the Babri mosque during a solidarity rally.

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