A huge controversy erupted on Monday after some media outlets reported that Rahul Gandhi had accused his own senior party colleagues of colluding with the BJP. This prompted Kapil Sibal to issue an extraordinary public clarification, while Ghulam Nabi Azad offered to quit.
NDTV was one of those media outlets, who quoted Rahul Gandhi as doubting the integrity of his own senior party colleagues. Quoting ‘sources,’ NDTV reported that Rahul Gandhi had ‘questioned the timing of a letter written by over 20 top party leaders targeting the Gandhi leadership.’ According to the TV channel, Gandhi had also said that ‘signatories of the letter were in cahoots with the ruling BJP.’
Kapil Sibal took to Twitter to write, “Rahul Gandhi says we are colluding with BJP. Succeeded in Rajasthan High Court defending the Congress party. Defending party in Manipur to bring down BJP Government. Last 30 years have never made a statement in favour of BJP on any issue yet ‘we are colluding with the BJP!'”
Ghulam Nabi Azad, another signatory of the letter to Sonia Gandhi, offered to quit if the reported allegation of colluding with the BJP was found to be true.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala clarified that the comments being attributed to Rahul Gandhi were fake. Responding to Sibal’s tweet (now deleted), Surjewala wrote, “Sh. Rahul Gandhi hasn’t said a word of this nature nor alluded to it. Pl don’t be mislead by false media discourse or misinformation being spread. But yes, we all need to work together in fighting the draconian Modi rule rather then fighting & hurting each other & the Congress.”
This prompted Sibal to delete his earlier tweet as he wrote, “Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him . I therefore withdraw my tweet.”
Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him .
I therefore withdraw my tweet .
— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) August 24, 2020
Around 20 senior Congress leaders including a few sitting MPs had written an extraordinary letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressing their dismay over the party not conducting any introspection after the election defeats of 2014 and 2019. Three of the dissenters namely Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Mukul Wasnik are part of the party’s highest decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee.
What has stunned many is the leak by Congress leaders on the proceedings of today’s CWC meeting. The media began to report quoting sources even as the CWC meeting was underway.