'Get Well Soon Kapil': Congress Workers Protest Outside Sibal House, Damage Car
Sibal had stated that the G-23 grouping of Congress's dissenting leaders will not be the ones to quit the party.
After veteran Congress leader Kapil Sibal said on Wednesday, 29 September, that the Congress party had no president and that the leaders weren't sure who was calling the shots, Congress supporters gathered outside his residence to protest against his comments and even showed placards reading 'Get Well Soon Kapil Sibal', ANI reported.
According to NDTV, the supporters also damaged his car and raised slogans of 'Leave the party!', 'Come to your senses!' and 'Rahul Gandhi Zindabad!'.
Sabil's comments came amidst the Punjab Congress crisis that augmented after Navjot Singh Sidhu's resignation as state unit chief.
"There’s no Congress president at this moment. We know and yet we don't know. We don’t know who’s taking these decisions. Party must make sure they remain united. Only Congress can save the nation," Sibal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Presently, Sonia Gandhi is the interim president of the party.
I'm speaking to you (media) on behalf of those Congressmen who wrote the letter in August last year and are waiting for the actions to be taken by our leadership in respect of the election of the office of the president, to Congress Working Committee and central election committee."Kapil Sibal
Sibal hinted that a senior Congress leader would be writing to the Congress president, requesting for a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
Later, senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi, asking her to convene an urgent meeting of CWC, reported ANI.
Sibal also said that the recent political crisis in Punjab, which is a border state, has rendered it vulnerable to Pakistan.
"Every Congressman of the country should think as to how the party can be strengthened. Those who have left should come back because Congress alone can save this republic," he was quoted as saying.
'Don't Denigrate Party': Ajay Maken
Reacting to Sibal's comments, Ajay Maken, the Congress' general secretary and senior leader, said that Sibal and others must not denigrate a party that "gave them everything".
"My appeal to Mr Sibal and others like him is that they should not denigrate the organisation which has given them political identity by rushing to the media every then and now," Maken told PTI.
"Such remarks by leaders like Sibal, who have got everything from the organisation and the leadership, demoralise the party cadres and ordinary workers who continue to stand with the Congress ideology and are fighting the fundamental and fascist forces on the streets", he added.
He also asserted that Sonia Gandhi continues to lead the party.
"The meeting of the CWC and that of party general secretaries have been held at least half a dozen times in the last few months, taking important decision of the party, where everyone has been given full opportunity to air their views", he said.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh minister and Congress leader said that Sibal was 'misleading'.
"Sonia Gandhi Ji making decisions in the party. Unfortunate that an experienced person like Kapil Sibal doesn't know decisions are being taken. Those committed to ideology of Congress will never leave the party," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
According to a recent tweet by ANI, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel referred to Sibal's statement as unfortunate. He allegedly said that everyone decided on making Sonia Gandhi working president after Rahul Gandhi resigned.
"Putting such questions is ridiculous," he said.
'Leaders of G-23 Will Not Be the Ones to Leave the Party': Kapil Sibal
Speaking on Wednesday, Kapil Sibal had said that the G-23 – a grouping of the Congress's 'dissenting leaders' who maintain that they work in the best interests of the party – will not be the ones to quit the party.
"We (leaders of G-23) are not the ones who will leave the party and go anywhere else. It is ironic. Those who were close to them (party leadership) have left and those whom they don't consider to be close to them are still standing with them," he had said, ANI reported.
In August last year, the G-23 had written to Sonia Gandhi seeking the party’s revival. They had asked for changes in the party, arguing that the party’s revival is “a national imperative”.
(With inputs from ANI, NDTV and PTI.)
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