People no longer see Congress as effective alternative : Kapil Sibal

Kapil Sibal : We are not an alternative

If the Congress is not saved from the clutches of the Nehru family, the party will soon disappear from the country. Senior leader Kapil Sibal has come out against the Congress top brass over the poor showing in the Bihar assembly elections and by polls in other states, saying people no longer saw the party as an “effective alternative”. He further added that, Congress leadership is silent after the defeat in Bihar. “The people of the country, not just in Bihar but wherever by-elections were held, obviously don’t consider the Congress to be an effective alternative,”Sibal said in an interview to the Indian Express. He criticised that Congress cannot make a strong alternative to the BJP and Congress is not able to win the trust of the people, not only in Bihar, but in other parts of the country also.If the leadership is not ready to correct the mistakes, it will still lag behind.

Sibal, one of the 23 senior Congress leaders who wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi earlier this year asking for changes in the party organisation, also said in the interview that the time for “introspection” of its poor showing in election after election was over. Rahul Gandhi was planning to spend his vacation in Rajasthan and arrangements were made for the same. The plan got changed after the Bihar election result. Now it is evident that Rahul Gandhi has nothing more to do with the current leadership of the Congress. Rahul cannot be an alternative to the BJP. Sibil also added that 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 and Congressmen must recognize of their decline. Since there has been no dialogue and there seems to be no effort for a 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 said in the interview. Meanwhile, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said he was disappointed with the party’s performance in the Bihar elections. Chidambaram said the party’s poor performance in the elections was more disturbing to the leaders than the alliance’s defeat.

Congress won only 19 out of the 70 seats it contested in the Bihar assembly elections and was widely seen as the main factor dragging the opposition Grand Alliance below the majority mark in an otherwise tight fight. In byelections in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat among other states, the party lost most of the seats it had formerly held.