The Congress party has recently shelved debacles to its store after enduring an unprecedented defeat in the assembly polls held in five states - Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa, and Manipur. While the Congress has lost its reign to Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab, the party has drifted in the rest of the four states with securing only two seats in Uttar Pradesh.
When it was thought that the debacles would lead the party towards fixing the flaws, the veteran leaders are apparently busy fuelling the ongoing intra-party war, showcasing that the face of unity is getting bulldozed. Following the defeat, the Congress party, as per its practice, has conveyed the party's highest-decision making body, Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting to discuss how to drive the party for the upcoming electoral stops.
While the party's president Sonia Gandhi has offered to quit her post, the committee has unanimously vetoed her offer and affirmed its support to her leadership. For every electoral loss, the party would hear the voices for a leadership change and for new reforms. While the committee has backed Sonia Gandhi's leadership, the recent event has reiterated that it doesn't mean that every top leader supports the Gandhis. Peculiarly, Congress has been the only national party that has been facing more dissents against the party's high command itself for the past few years.
The voice of dissents had sparked a new club of leaders within the party, G-23 (Group of 23). The leaders in this bloc have been advocating for the organization and leadership overhaul. The group has been critical of the Gandhis and it had in 2020 written to Sonia Gandhi demanding an organizational change. While there hasn't no significant overhaul, the leaders in the group had apparently shown that they aren't on good terms with the party's leadership.
As the party has faced huge defeats in the assembly polls, it has spurred dissent with the G23 is getting ready to organize a separate meet to discuss the way further. Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal, who is a prominent face in G23, has now slammed the leadership of the Gandhis and said they were living in cuckoo land. Sibal has directly criticized the leadership's decision at Sunday's Working Committee meeting to hold a campaign 'Chintan Shivir' to figure out why the party has lost in five states. His comments had caught more attention with several leaders attacking him for going against the leadership.
In an interview with the Indian Express on Tuesday, Sibal said, "For a party after eight years, since 2014, to say that we will have a Chintan shivir to find out the reasons for this debacle, if for eight years a political party and the leadership is not aware of the reasons for its decline, is awaiting for a Chintan shivir to find out, is living in cuckoo land." He further said that it was not surprising that the Congress leadership had decided Sunday that Sonia Gandhi would continue as party chief.
He said that some prominent leaders may feel that without the Gandhi family, it's not possible for Congress to survive. "It's not a point of view that many of us share", added. When his remarks had triggered heatwaves within the party, the G23 leaders are all set to meet at Kapil Sibal's residence to discuss the situation in the party in the aftermath of its embarrassing loss in the assembly elections in five states and to discuss CWC's motion of backing Sonia Gandhi's leadership.
According to reports, the G23 leaders would be meeting at Sibal's residence at 7 pm on Wednesday - March 16. It has been reported that the G23 leaders have also invited some Congress leaders who are not in the club to speak about their advocacy of organizational overhaul. Reacting to Sibal's remarks during his interview, Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagal has flayed Sibal by stating, "Congress is the Congress of every house, but some people want to make it Congress of dinner and bungalow."
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has also criticized Sibal and said, "Kapil Sibal isn't a person from Congress culture. He is a renowned advocate who entered Congress. Sonia Ji and Rahul Ji have given him a lot of chances. It is expected from a person who doesn't know ABC of Congress to give such statements." Incidentally, these two are the only states that are being ruled by Congress. As the latest events around G23 had fueled the war within the party, the Congress cadres and its rival BJP have been watching the leadership crisis, being faced by the Gandhis.