Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Kapil Sibal on Monday withdrew his angry tweets saying he was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that the former party chief had never made the “colluding with BJP” remark attributed to him.
In his new tweet, Sibal said, “Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him. I therefore withdraw my tweet.”
His remarks came after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday witnessed volatile scenes with several senior leaders as Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad even offered to resign.
Sibal in a tweet earlier in the day said, “Rahul Gandhi says ‘we are colluding with BJP’. Succeeded in Rajasthan High Court defending the Congress Party. Defending party in Manipur to bring down BJP government. Last 30 years have never made a statement in favour of BJP on any issue. Yet ‘we are colluding with the BJP’!”
That tweet has now been deleted by Sibal.
The remarks by the former Union minister came soon after Rahul Gandhi targeted the party dissenters and questioned the timing of a letter which was sent to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi seeking a leadership change. According to Congress sources, at the CWC, Rahul Gandhi said, “What was the reason to write a letter when Sonia Gandhi was admitted in hospital and when the party was battling a political crisis in Rajasthan.”
Sonia Gandhi was admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on July 30 for a routine checkup and was discharged on August 2. The political crisis in Rajasthan began on July 11 when former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot rebelled against the party leadership. The crisis in Rajasthan was taken care of by the top leadership on August 11.
The charge “agents of BJP” was levelled by Haryana Congress leader Kumari Selja who targeted the dissenters for writing the letter seeking a leadership change and in her letter to Sonia Gandhi she called the leaders who wrote it as “agents of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”.
A party source said that while responding to the contents of Selja’s letter during the meeting, Azad said that he would quit the party if it was proven that he was colluding with the ruling BJP. According to party sources, Azad 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 difficult times.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also questioned the purpose of the letter written by several senior leaders demanding leadership change in the party.
Senior Congress leader Anil Shastri also questioned party leaders for leaking the letter that was written to Sonia Gandhi and also demanded that Priyanka Gandhi be made the party chief. “Writing a letter and making it public is no way to strengthen the party. Their attempt is to thwart the move to bring back Rahul Gandhi as Congress President because they feel threatened. The syndicate should know that Congress without a Gandhi at the helm will cease to exist,” he said in a series of tweets.
“In a fast changing scenario in Congress with the emergence of a syndicate, the best bet to save the party would be to elect Priyanka Gandhi as Congress President. She has tremendous acceptability amongst the rank and file in the party. She has already proved to be a mature leader,” Shastri said in another tweet.
The Congress meeting comes weeks after a stormy huddle of party Rajya Sabha MPs wherein certain leaders sought introspection on the 2019 poll debacle. It was thereafter, that a bunch of leaders wrote the letter to Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on the issue of leadership change and elections in the CWC.