We are G-23, not Ji-huzoor 23: Sibal slams Cong bosses

Ghulam Nabi Azad demands CWC meeting; Kapil Sibal slams Congress leadership

Sibal took a dig at the Gandhis without taking names and said it was 'ironic' that those who were considered close to them have left the party

G-23 Congress leader Kapil Sibal. Credit: PTI File Photo

The 'G-23' leaders in the Congress on Wednesday targeted the top leadership as the party plunged into a crisis in Punjab with senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad seeking a meeting of the Congress Working Committee and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal saying that nobody knows who takes decisions in the party in the absence of an elected president.

Azad wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking a meeting of the CWC, party's highest decision-making body, which Sibal said would give them an opportunity to talk about issues that they cannot raise outside and discuss why the party is "in such a state".

Addressing a press conference here, Sibal took a dig at the Gandhis without taking names and said it was "ironic" that those who were considered close to them have left the party while those who they do not consider close are still standing with the party. "We are not the ones who will leave the ideology of the party and go anywhere else."

However, he said questions have to be raised as to why people like Sushmita Dev, Jitin Prasada, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Luizinho Faleiro among others have left the party.

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"In our party, at the moment, there is no president. So we don't know who is taking these decisions. We know and yet we don't know," Sibal said, adding that efforts should be taken to bring back all those who have left the party as Congress is the only organisation that can take on the Narendra Modi government that is "destroying the very foundation" of the country.

Sibal's remarks did not go down well with a section in the party as a number of party workers held a protest near his house with 'Get Well Soon' posters.

 

Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken said, "Sonia- ji had ensured that Sibal becomes Union Minister despite not having organisational background. Everyone in the party is being heard. I want to tell Sibal and others that they should not degrade the organisation that gave them an identity."

Sibal said he was speaking on behalf of like-minded Congmen, who wrote a letter and are still awaiting action with regard to elections to the office of Congress president.

"We are not 'Jee Huzoor-23' (Yes Men G-23). It is very clear. We will keep talking. We will continue to reiterate our demands," he said as he reiterated the demand for an elected party president, CWC and Central Election Committee.

The G-23 is a group of leaders, including Azad, Sibal, Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari among others, who had written to interim party chief Sonia seeking an early election to the party presidentship and CWC.

On the developments in Punjab Congress, he said the happenings in Punjab would mean that it is an "advantage" to the ISI and Pakistan. He said Congress should take efforts to ensure that the party remains united and in that case, it should discuss among themselves if somebody has an issue.

Calling for an "open dialogue and consultation", he said there is a need to understand each other's points of view. "The organisational structure should be strengthened," he said.

He said they could not see a diminishing Congress and several people are leaving the party. "Every Congressman of the country should think as to how the party can be strengthened. Those who have left should come back because Congress alone can save this republic," he said.

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