Poet, lyricist Javed Akhtar who was recently in news for comparing RSS with the Taliban on Friday condemned the attack on Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s house in New Delhi and said those who attacked Kapil Sibal’s house for expressing an opinion about the working process of the Congress party are the same who criticise Modi govt for “curbing the freedom of expression”. “Shouldn’t Rahul Gandhi condemn these hooligans in the strongest words?” Javed Akhtar said.
The ‘hooliganism’ outside Kapil Sibal’s house following his comment that G-23, the group of rebel Congress leaders, is not ‘Jee Huzoor 23’ has effectively divided the party into two groups — one who are questioning the high command and the other one which is supporting the high command.
The protest of the Youth Congress leaders outside Kapil Sibal’s was condemned by Congress leaders Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari, P Chidambaram and Shashi Tharoor among others. Shashi Tharoor said that even if teh party does not agree with what Kapil Sibal said, he has to be listened to.
Neither Rahul Gandhi nor Priyanka Gandhi has spoken anything about vandalism. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the meeting of the Congress Working Committee will be called soon.
The Congress is facing a crisis with the voice of the dissenters growing louder in the aftermath of what happened in Punjab. Veteran Congress leader Amarinder Singh had to resign from the chief minister’s post which he said he did after facing much humiliation from the party. Days after his resignation, Amarinder Singh announced on Thursday that he will be leaving the party as well.
This instability gave voice to the G-23 leaders who have been pushing for sweeping changes inside the party. Reiterating his commitment to the party, Kapil Sibal said the G-23 leaders will keep on raising pertinent issues but it is ironic that they are not the ones who are leaving the party.
Kapil Sibal’s comment irked a section of Congress leaders who said that the party high command had always ensured that Sibal reaches Parliament, though Sibal did not have any organisational background. With posters reading ‘Get well soon, Kapil Sibal’, Congress workers agitated outside Sibal’s house, damaging the car parked there. This episode has brought the rift inside the party to the fore. Senior Congress leader Natwar Singh directly trained his gun on Rahul Gandhi and said he is calling the shots in the party without having any designation.
Rahul Gandhi, who was in Kerala on Thursday, was asked to comment on the issue his party is facing. “I don’t want to speak to media right now regarding the issues. I will react later,” he told ANI.