Senior Congress leaders on Thursday denounced the party workers protest outside their colleague Kapil Sibal’s home in Delhi, PTI reported.
Members of the Youth Congress from Chandni Chowk area – a Lok Sabha constituency that Sibal had represented before – had protested outside his home on Wednesday evening as he had questioned the functioning of the party’s leadership.
In a series of tweets, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma condemned the “hooliganism” and requested interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi to take action against the protestors.
“Congress has a history of upholding freedom of expression,” Sharma wrote. “Differences of opinion and perception are integral to a democracy. Intolerance and violence is alien to Congress values and culture.”
Former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad called the protests an instance of “orchestrated hooliganism”.
“He [Sibal] is a loyal Congressman fighting for the party both inside and outside Parliament,” Azad said in a tweet. “Any suggestion from any quarter should be welcomed instead of suppressing, hooliganism is unacceptable.”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the incident was “shameful”. He urged the party workers to listen what Sibal has to say, instead of expressing their displeasure by protesting.
Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that the party workers’ “attack” on Sibal’s home over difference of opinion did not “augur well for the party”, PTI reported.
‘G-23, not Ji Huzoor-23’: Kapil Sibal
Sibal held a press conference on Wednesday after the party’s Punjab state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from his post. Sibal had said that there was no clarity on who was taking decisions within the party.
Sibal claimed he was speaking on behalf of those Congress leaders who had written to Gandhi in August 2020 asking for a complete revamp of the party’s organisation.
He said that the group of 23 leaders, also known as G-23, will continue to ask questions to the party’s leadership. “We are G-23, definitely not Ji Huzoor [yes, sir]-23,” he added.
Youth Congress workers had protested outside Sibal’s home by holding placards that read “get well soon”. The protestors threw tomatoes and damaged his car. They also shouted slogans such as “leave the party, come to your senses” and “Rahul Gandhi zindabad [long live Rahul Gandhi]”.
In his press conference, Sibal added that the dissenting leaders were waiting for a decision from the top leadership of the party regarding election of the president, Congress Working Committee and the party’s central election committee.
In December, Gandhi had met the dissenters in a bid to address the crisis plaguing the party. On January 22, the Congress had announced that it will have a new elected president by June. However, the election was delayed due to the coronavirus situation in the country.
Currently, the Congress has no full-time president and Sonia Gandhi acts as the interim party chief.