Endgame for Congress? With 'Get Well Soon' placards, party workers protest outside Kapil Sibal's house

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Hours after he raised questions over the functioning of the Congress, senior party leader Kapil Sibal on Wednesday came under attacks from several quarters with party workers also protesting outside his house here.

In the wake of several Congress leaders quitting the party and its Punjab unit in turmoil, Sibal demanded that an immediate meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) be convened and wondered who in the party was taking decisions in the absence of a full-time president.

Sibal, a member of the ‘Group of 23’ which last year had written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, said at a press conference that the grouping is “not a Jee Huzur 23” and will continue to put forth the views and will continue to repeat the demands.

Carrying ‘Get Well Soon Kapil Sibal’ placards and raising slogans against Sibal, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) workers protested outside his Jor Bagh residence, saying they were “hurt” by his remarks.

“The workers went there on their own accord as they felt hurt by Sibal’s remarks. They just expressed their disappointment over the remarks,” a senior DPCC functionary said on condition of anonymity.

The protesters raised slogans against Sibal asking him to “leave the party”.

Several leaders hit out at Sibal for what they said was questioning the leadership from which he had earlier “benefitted”.

Youth Congress chief Srinivas B V said on Twitter, “Listen ‘Ji-Huzoor’ :- The ‘President’ and ‘Leadership’ of the party are the same, who always ensured your entry in Parliament, made you a ‘minister’ during the good times of the party, when in opposition, ensured your entry into Rajya Sabha, always rewarded with responsibilities in good and bad times. And when the ‘time’ came for struggle, then.”

Congress general secretary Ajay Maken and Chhattisgarh minister T S Singhdeo hit out at Sibal for his remarks.

Delhi Congress leader Alka Lamba also slammed Sibal, alleging that she kept requesting him in the 2020 assembly elections to come to Chandni Chowk and campaign but he did not come.

“The workers whom Sibal called for a meeting at his home ahead of the polls, they joined Aam Aadmi Party the next day. Will the Congress run on these people’s strength?” Lamba said on Twitter.

The ripples of the turmoil in the Congress’ Punjab unit reached Delhi as Sibal lashed out at the party leadership and demanded that an immediate meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) be convened.

Maken alleged that leaders like Sibal are demoralising the party cadres who have stood by the Congress ideology.

He said it was Sonia Gandhi, the current Congress president, who made him a union minister though he did not have any organisational background and experience.

“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 said.

Earlier, addressing the media, Sibal, who is a part of the ‘Group of 23’ that had written to Sonia Gandhi last year demanding an organisational overhaul, wondered who in the party was taking decisions in the absence of a full-time president.

He said the grouping is “not a Jee Huzur 23” and will continue to put forth the views and will continue to repeat the demands.

Maken rejected Sibal’s contention about Congress having no regular president, saying 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,” the former union minister said.