NEW DELHI: The deep differences within the
were once again out in the open on Saturday, with the
"dissenters" going public with their observations against the party leadership.
The Congress was quick to attack the group with some questioning the ability of "dissenters" to win elections and others advising them to be active in poll-bound states instead of activism within the party.
Senior Congress leaders
and Anand Sharma on Saturday stated that the G-23 or the group of 23 dissenting leaders are seeing the Congress party "getting weaker" and are raising their voice for the betterment of the party.
"Our voice is for the betterment of the party. It should be strengthened everywhere once again. The new generation should connect (to the party). We have seen good days of Congress. We do not want to see it weakening as we become older," Anand Sharma said.
Sibal questioned the party leadership over its decision not to renominate
Ghulam Nabi Azad
after his Rajya Sabha term ended.
Azad is the senior-most member among the 23 leaders, who had expressed dissent with the functioning of the Congress party and had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi in August last year.
Hours after the Jammu event, senior Congress leader
Abhishek Manu Singhvi
responded and expressed displeasure over the conduct of the senior leaders.
"Gently and respectfully, I say that the best contribution to the Congress's cause would be to get active, not in any manner among ourselves, but by participating in the ongoing campaign everyday in the five states that are going to polls," Singhvi said.
He said that the leaders are highly "respected" in the party but they should have done more to "strengthen" the party in the poll-bound states.
"It would have been better if they helped Congress in five states which are going to polls. They are respected leaders, we respect them. One of the leaders spoke the term 'used'. The one who has used the term does not know the legacy of Congress," Singhvi told reporters.
Referring to Ghulam Nabi Azad, Singhvi said: "He has been a Congress MP for seven times. Sonia ji made him the chief minister. Indira Ji bestowed cabinet berth in the Union Government. He has been a general secretary in the party and has exercised supervision of over 20 states across the nation."
Congress supporter Tahseen Poonawala was more critical and said, "I ask questions of Anand Sharma ji and Ghulam Nabi Azad sahab. Can they continuously win Lok Sabha elections from their home states? What did they do to strengthen the party in states like UP , TN where they were in-charge? Why did they not demand elections when they were always enjoying the 'fruits of power'? Why are they not campaigning in the state elections that are due?"
In solidarity with the former Leader of Opposition, Congress dissenters including Kapil Sibal, Raj Babbar, Manish Tewari were in Jammu and chose to attack the party.