“We are not the kind of force that we used to be. We need to reach out to others by those who are experienced in this business,” Mr SIbal said.
Former Union Minister and top Congress leader, Kapil Sibal, has gone public with his critique of the party leadership and called for “experienced minds, experienced hands and those who understand political realities” to revive the organisation, shortly after the Congress ended up being worst-performing party from the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar elections. In his unfiltered critique of the leadership, Mr Sibal has said that the “time for introspection is over”.
“… we need to do several things at several levels – organisationally, articulation in the media in whatever form, putting up people who the people want to listen to, providing an active, thoughtful leadership who can articulate with a lot of circumspection,” Mr Sibal told the Indian Express. Mr Sibal said Congressmen “must recognize that we are in decline”.
Talking about Congress’ poor performance in Bihar polls as well as bypolls in states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh where the party is still a strong force, Mr Sibal said: “Where we were an alternative the people of that state have not reposed their confidence in the Congress in the manner expected by us. So the time for introspection is over. We know the answers. Congress must be brave and willing to recognise them.”
“Since there has been no dialogue and there seems to be no effort for dialogue by the leadership and since there is no forum to express my views, I am constrained to express them publicly. I am a Congressman and will remain a Congressman and hope and pray that the Congress provides the alternative to a power structure which has subverted all the values that the nation stands for,” Mr Sibal further said in the interview.
One of the senior and reputed lawyers in the country, Mr Sibal gave his prescription for a complete do-over of the party and said: “First we have to have a conversation; with experienced minds, experienced hands, with people who understand the political realities of India, people who know what and how to articulate in the media, people who know how to get people to listen to them… We need alliances, we need to reach out to people. We cannot anymore expect people to come to us. We are not the kind of force that we used to be. We need to reach out to others by those who are experienced in this business. But in order to do that we have to have a conversation.”
Mr Sibal, when asked if the leadership was taking the Bihar defeat like “business as usual”, responded: “I have not heard the leadership tell me anything. So I don’t know. I only hear voices which surround the leadership… We are yet to hear from the Congress party their views on our recent performance in Bihar and in the by-elections. Maybe they think all is well and that it should be business as usual.”