After Election Effect: Senior Congress Politicians Fight Over Party's Leadership
India's grand old party Congress lost badly in all the five states which recently held state assembly elections. Except in Uttarakhand, Congress party's vote share and number of seats have plummeted. Currently, Congress rules in only two states — Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
A week after the state polls' results, a tussle appears to have sparked in India's main opposition party Congress over its top leadership.
The dissenters within the Congress party have started demanding that the Gandhi family should step aside from the party's leadership and pave the way for others to take over the reins. The Gandhi family's loyalists are targeting such rebellious voices.
A day after senior Congress politician Kapi Sibal said it's time to give others an opportunity to head the party, many Gandhi family loyalists opted to target "rebel or dissenting" party members by questioning their mass appeal and contribution to the party.
On Tuesday, Sibal in an interview to Indian Express newspaper reiterated the need for reforms in the party.
He also questioned the Sunday decision of Congress's working committee, which refused to accept Sonia Gandhi's resignation as Congress interim president, along with resignations of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
"The leadership is living in a cuckoo land if it is not aware of the reasons for the party's decline even after eight years," Sibal, the former federal minister, stated.
After Sibal's interview, many Congress politicians slammed him on Wednesday.
"Sibal may be a good lawyer but not a good leader of the party, he is deliberately trying to weaken the party," Congress parliamentarian Mallikarjun Kharge said.
Meanwhile, another Congress parliamentarian, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said that everything was good when he - Sibal - was a minister. But, now, when they are out of power, they are raising questions because they can't live without power.
In 2020, Sibal was a signatory to a letter written by 23 Congress politicians to Sonia Gandhi, demanding sweeping reforms in the party. At that time too, they demanded that Congress should appoint a non-Gandhi as the party chief.
The G-23 members were also scheduled to meet on Wednesday evening.
In 2019, Rahul Gandhi had resigned from the party chief's position. Since then his mother Sonia Gandhi has been working as the interim chief. His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is the Congress General Secretary.