Reports emerge of Rahul Gandhi alleging senior leaders of being BJP agents
The CWC meet began losing direction as reports started emerging of Rahul Gandhi questioning the loyalty of senior leaders who wrote a letter of dissent to Sonia Gandhi last week instead of holding a discussion over issues mentioned in the letter.
It was reported that Rahul Gandhi had questioned the timing of the letter and accused the signatories of being BJP agents.
Kapil Sibal first expresses anguish then releases clarification
Soon after Rahul Gandhi’s alleged statement, senior Congress leader who was also one of the signatories of the letter, took to Twitter and said that in last 30 years he has never made any statement favouring the BJP.
However, thee tweet which evidently expressed Sibal’s discontent over alleged statement made by Rahul Gandhi was soon withdrawn. Under an hour, Sibal again took to Twitter to clarify that he has spoken to Rahul Gandhi and was informed that he never said all that was attributed to him.
Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him . I therefore withdraw my tweet .
— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) 1598257072000
Surjewala comes in defence of Rahul Gandhi
Sibal’s tweet came shortly after Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala clarified that Rahul Gandhi made no such statement alleging signatories of colluding with the BJP. Surjewala urged Congress leaders to not be “misled by false media discourse or misinformation.”
Sh. Rahul Gandhi hasn’t said a word of this nature nor alluded to it.Pl don’t be mislead by false media discourse… https://t.co/Rfyemexv40
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) 1598256029000
Azad offers to resign
But before Surjewala could clarify what Rahul Gandhi said and didn’t say, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was also one of the signatories of the letter had offered to resign following Rahul Gandhi’s alleged remarks.
Azad said that he will quit the party if proven that he was colluding with the ruling BJP. Party sources said senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, while speaking in the CWC, the highest decision making body of the party, said: “If you can prove that I am colluding with BJP, I will quit right now.” Azad also praised Sonia Gandhi for leading the party amid the difficult times.
Sonia offers to resign as interim party chief, Manmohan urges her to continue
The interim president of the party, Sonia Gandhi, offered to quit at the CWC meet on Monday, referring to the letter written by Ghulam Nabi Azad and other leaders. She handed over a letter to KC Venugopal replying to note sent by dissidents, contents of which were read out during the meet, said sources. Sonia Gandhi also referred to Azad and others twice during her brief address and the issues raised by them. Sonia had addressed the meet before controversy erupted over Rahul’s statement.
Following Sonia’s offer to resign, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked her to continue. As the meeting progressed, senior Congress leader A.K. Antony also questioned the letter written by party leaders urging for sweeping reforms, and “a full-time, visible leadership”.
Wadettiwar, Kedar back Gandhis over Congress leadership issue
Maharashtra minister Vijay Wadettiwar on Monday said the Congress epitomises democratic values, and the letter written by some party leaders to Sonia Gandhi over demand for a “full-time” president should not seen as opposition to the current leadership. Talking to reporters, the senior Congress leader also said the Gandhi family has the capacity to lead the country and the party and that Rahul Gandhi should be reinstated as the party president.
Another Congress minister Sunil Kedar said he does not subscribe to the demand of some “so-called intellectual leaders” from Maharashtra about the central party leadership. “Those leaders should first tender an unconditional apology or they will not be able to roam freely in the state. The Gandhi family’s leadership has helped the country and the party to progress for several decades,” he said.
Those trying to weaken Congress have colluded with BJP: Selja
While Surjewala and Sibal clarified that Rahul did not accuse the letter signatories of “colluding with the BJP”, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) President Kumari Selja did not hold back from alleging betrayal at the hands of those who wrote the letter.
“It is a matter of shame that some people who enjoyed being in power, whose existence is due to Congress are questioning our leadership. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi raised the voice of the poor… At a time when BJP is busy trying to weaken democracy, today it is needed that we strengthen the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi so that they can play a greater role in taking the country forward,” Selja said.
Some people don’t want change: Sanjay Jha
After Rahul’s statement, former Congress leader Sanjay Jha had questioned Congress party’s lack of “willingness to change” despite facing two of its worst election defeats in last two General Elections. Jha’s tweet had revealed that a note of dissent had been sent to Sonia Gandhi last week.
We lose 2 Lok Sabha elections back to back both being the worst defeats of the Congress. It is followed by severa… https://t.co/h5G7LTRKax
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) 1598243828000