Congress leader Kapil Sibal's comments criticising the party leadership after the Grand Alliance’s election defeat in Bihar has "hurt the sentiments" of party workers across the country, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Monday.
Hitting out at Sibal, Gehlot took to Twitter and said that there was no need for Sibal to have publicly criticised the party leadership. "Congress has seen various crises including (in) 1969, 1977, 1989 and later in the 1996, but every-time we came out stronger due to our ideology, programs, policies and firm belief in party leadership. We have improved with each and every crisis and also formed UPA government in 2004 under the able leadership of Soniaji, we shall overcome this time too," Ashok Gehlot tweeted.
Congress has seen various crises including 1969, 1977, 1989 and later in the 1996 - but every-time we came out stronger due to our ideology, programs, policies and firm belief in party leadership.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) November 16, 2020
Earlier, Sibal, a former union minister had posted one of his interviews and tweeted, "We are yet to hear on recent polls... Maybe Congress leadership thinks it should be business as usual." Prior to this, Sibal was also part of a group of 23 senior Congress leaders who had in August written to party chief Sonia Gandhi suggesting ways revive the party.
My interview in today’s Indian ExpressNovember 16, 2020
The Congress won 19 out of the 70 seats it contested in Bihar as part of the RJD-led grand alliance. The opposition alliance ended up with 110 seats, while the NDA retained power bagging 125 seats in the 243-member assembly.
Countering Sibal, Gehlot said, "There are various reasons for electoral loses. But each time every rank and file of the Congress party has shown undivided and firm belief in the party leadership and that is why we came out of it stronger and united after every crises. Even today, Congress is the only party which can keep this Nation united and take it forward on the path of comprehensive development."
There are various reasons for Electoral loses, . But each time rank and file of the Congress Party has shown undivided and firm belief in the party leadership and that is why we came out of it stronger and united after every crises.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) November 16, 2020
However, many other Congress leaders have come out in support of Sibal. Congress Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha said it was time for the party to act now, else it will be too late. He also said that for democracy to survive, the Congress has to survive. Tankha was also a part of the 23 leaders who had sought a reorganisation of the party.
"Kapil ji is an iconic lawyer and hard core congress personality. Together and individually we have fought countless battles and continue to fight ag BJP shenanigans. For our democracy to survive Congress has to survive. Time to act is now or tomorrow may be too late," Tankha tweeted while tagging Sibal's interview.
Kapil ji is an iconic lawyer & hard core congress personality. Together & individually we hv fought countless battles & continue to fight ag BJP shenanigans. For our democracy to survive congress has to survive. Time to act is now or tomorrow may be too late.— Vivek Tankha (@VTankha) November 16, 2020
After the party's poor show in Bihar polls, Karti Chidambaram also pitched for introspection. Karti, son of former union minister P Chidambaram, in a tweet said: "It's time we introspect, ideate, consult & act @INCIndia."The Lok Sabha MP from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu made the cryptic comment while tagging a tweet by Sibal on his interview.
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam demanded that party leaders who were responsible for taking decisions in Bihar polls should be held accountable for the dismal show but defended Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi only went to campaign for the party but was not responsible for the decisions taken in Bihar, Nirupam added.