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'Gandhis Must Step Aside', 'Cong in Cuckoo Land': Kapil Sibal's Parting Shots

We take a look at Kapil Sibal's top quotes from the recent past to see how he finally quit the grand old party.

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The Congress continues to suffer one blow after another, with senior lawyer-cum-leader Kapil Sibal being the latest to cut ties with the grand old party.

On Wednesday, 25 May, Sibal announced that he had resigned from the Congress on 16 May. The statement by the senior leader came after he filed the nomination for the Rajya Sabha elections as an independent candidate in the presence of Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav.

Here, we take a look at Sibal's top quotes from recent past to see how he hinted at and finally exited from Congress.

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'Gandhis Should Step Aside'

After the staggering defeat in the five state polls earlier this year, unlike most of the G-23 members who mainly spoke of reform, Sibal had explicitly called for the Gandhis to quit the Congress' leadership.

"Gandhis should step aside, give another leader a chance," Sibal had said triggering angry responses from Congress leaders including Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, MPs Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, and Manickam Tagore.

'Party’s Leadership Living in Cuckoo Land'

Claiming that the party's leadership was living in "cuckoo land," Sibal said, "I want a 'sab ki Congress', some others want a 'ghar ki Congress'. And I will fight for a 'sab ki Congress' till my last breath," The Indian Express had reported.

Turning the spotlight at Rahul Gandhi, Sibal said, "Rahul Gandhi went to Punjab and made the announcement that Charanjit Singh Channi will be the chief minister. In what capacity did he do that? He is not the president of the party, but he takes all the decisions."

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'Absence of Accountability Since 2014'

Speaking on Congress’ electoral downfall, Sibal had said in March this year, "We have suffered humiliating defeats from time to time. The percentage of votes in the states that we hope to be relevant in is almost negligible. In Uttar Pradesh, we have 2.33 percent of the vote share. This doesn’t surprise me. We are unable to connect with the electorate. We are unable to lead from the front, unable to reach out to people.

"Our accessibility is the subject matter of public debate. As Ghulam Nabi Azad said, a leader must have the attributes of accessibility, accountability, and acceptability. Ever since 2014, there is absence of accountability, decreasing acceptability and little attempt to increase accessibility. That’s the real problem. So the results have not surprised me,” The Indian Express reported.

'All That We Want Is That the Congress Party Should Listen to Us'

After politician Jitin Prasada’s defection in June last year, from Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party – the senior party leader had offered insight saying that it was time for the top leadership to "listen" and expressed disapproval of "Prasada Ram politics based on personal gain" rather than ideology, NDTV reported.

Emphasising his refusal to change political alliances, Sibal had said, "If the party for some reason tells me we don't need you, I will leave it. I am not in it for myself, but I will never in my life over my dead body join the BJP who I have opposed since my birth as a politician. That's my issue with Jitin Prasada."

He also added that issues within the party must be “addressed as quickly as possible” and offered his insight on the tensions within the party, “Don't ask me, ask whoever has to address them. The Congress must become the grand old party that it was. For that we need reforms. We are fighting within the system we have continued to raise issues. If the head stops listening, the organisation will decline. All that we want is that the Congress party should listen to us."

(With inputs from The Indian Express and NDTV.)

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Topics:  Congress   Rahul Gandhi   Sonia Gandhi 

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