Congress leader Kapil Sibal tweeted on Tuesday to say: “it’s not about a post. It’s about my country which matters most”.
The tweet comes a day after his angry retort to a reported comment by Rahul Gandhi during an explosive meeting of the Congress Working Committee, in which over 20 senior figures challenged the Gandhi family’s leadership.
Mr Gandhi reportedly said the dissenting leaders had colluded with the BJP. The supposed comment was swiftly denied by Mr Gandhi and his party; the Congress said he “hadn’t said a word of this nature”.
Immediately after that reported comment, however, Kapil Sibal had tweeted: “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 Govt… Last 30 years have never made a statement in favour of BJP on any issue… Yet ‘we are colluding with the BJP’!”
It’s not about a post
It’s about my country which matters most
— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) August 25, 2020
Shortly after Mr Sibal deleted the tweet, writing, instead, that he had been “personally informed by Rahul Gandhi” that he had never made such a remark.
“Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him. I therefore withdraw my tweet,” Kapil Sibal wrote.
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
Mr Sibal, a veteran Congress leader, was among those who signed the letter calling for sweeping organisational changes and “full-time, visible leadership“.
The document came at the end of a six-year decline of the party that started with a crushing defeat in the 2014 general election. The party, the letter writers felt, was rudderless and failing to perform in elections.
What followed was a fiery seven-hour virtual meet of the CWC – the party’s highest decision-making body – that ended with Sonia Gandhi agreeing to remain in temporary charge, after the familiar script of leaders praising her leadership and stressing the party must be led either by her or Rahul Gandhi.
Mr Gandhi, whose resignation last year led to Mrs Gandhi reluctantly returning as an interim chief, had hit out at the dissenting leaders in that meeting.
He questioned why the letter attacked the Congress when it was at its weakest – when it was battling crises in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and when the Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) was unwell.
The dissenting leaders insisted they did not mean to criticise the Gandhis, who have led the Congress for much of its 134-year history. “We have not criticised Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi, we want a complete overhaul of the Congress party in its management and style,” one leader said.
At the end of the meeting Sonia Gandhi appeared to offer the dissenting leaders an olive branch saying she held “no ill-will” to the letter writers.
“I am hurt but they are my colleagues, bygones are bygones, let us work together,” she reportedly said.