Not even one concern raised in the letter sent by 23 leaders to the Congress leadership stands addressed, party leader Kapil Sibal has said.
Sibal, one of the signatories of the letter recent letter which sought a ‘visible’ leadership, told The Indian Express in an interview that no leader stepped up when the letter-writers were attacked in the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
Stating that the Congress wanted a ‘de jure and a de facto president,’ he said the concerns listed in the letter should be addressed as soon as possible.
Pointing to an apparent paradox, Kapil Sibal said the Congress always attacked the BJP of trashing the Constitution and destroying the foundation of democracy whereas the party itself wasn’t adhering to its constitution. He said: “What do we want? We want adherence to our party’s constitution. Who can object to that?”
He told the Indian Express that the politics of the country was now based on loyalty. He said there was a need for ‘loyalty plus.’ “What is that plus? That plus is merit, inclusiveness, commitment to the cause and that plus is about being able to listen and to have a dialogue. This is what politics should be,” he told the newspaper.
The letter had kicked up a row after 15 former Chief Ministers and sitting MPs sought ‘unprecedented’ reforms. The letter, at one point said the ‘Nehru-Gandhi’ family was important in the Congress scheme of things but it was seen as a frontal attack on the leadership of interim president Sonia Gandhi and former president Rahul Gandhi.
The Congress leader said the CWC should have been briefed of what the letter said. He said criticising the ‘timing and purpose’ was equivalent to distancing from the cause.
Sibal said the signatories to the letter were called ‘traitors’ and no one at the CWC flagged it and or said such language cannot be used. He said the letter was in ‘very civilized language.’
Kapil Sibal said people of the country, cutting across party lines, appreciated the leaders’ desire to rejuvenate the Congress, he said. “If the Congress is not there, the opposition is not there. We (Congress) need to be the lynchpin around which the wheel of the opposition revolves,” he said.