CWC meet: Sibal backtracks after reacting to ‘colluding with BJP’ remark

Amid the fireworks in the Congress Working Committee (CWC), a friction between the veterans and Team Rahul played out publicly on Twitter for a few minutes on Monday when party’s communication chief RS Surjewala rejected old warhorse Kapil Sibal’s allegations that Rahul Gandhi accused some seniors of colluding with the BJP during the high-voltage CWC discussions.

“Sh. Rahul Gandhi hasn’t said a word of this nature nor alluded to it. Pl don’t be mislead by false media discourse or misinformation being spread,” Surjewala replied to Sibal on the microblogging site even when the meeting of the top executive body was still on.

Sibal, one of the top legal brains of the party, had mentioned earlier in the day that Gandhi reportedly alleged in the meeting that seniors are colluding with the BJP.

No such allegation or even indication was made by Rahul Gandhi in the meeting, senior leaders confirmed.

Sibal too, withdrew his statement quickly. “Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him. I therefore withdraw my tweet,” he announced on Twitter.

In his previous tweet, Sibal, who is not a member of the CWC, possibly got carried away by the reports appearing on social media, listed his acts of loyalty to underline that in his 30 years in Congress, he has never made any statement in favour of BJP on any issue.

He pointed out how he “succeeded in Rajasthan High Court defending the Congress Party”, and he is “defending party in Manipur to bring down BJP Govt”.

Sources said that Gandhi took the initiative to defuse the situation and it was clarified to Sibal that no such accusations against the leaders who wrote the letter was made by him (Rahul).

In his tweet to Sibal, Surjewala also called upon Sibal to fight together against the BJP. “Pl don’t be misled by false media discourse or misinformation being spread. But yes, we all need to work together in fighting the draconian Modi rule rather then fighting & hurting each other & the Congress,” Surjewala said.

Later party MP from Tamil Nadu, Manickam Tagore also responded to Sibal’s outburst and tweeted, “Kapil Sibal ji We all have great respect for you. @INCIndia made you Cabinet minister and gives lot of importance. you are NOT inside the CWC. You are reacting to a leak that is false. It does not reflect well on a leader as senior as you are, to react to hearsay!”

The leaking of the letter asking for major changes in the functioning of the party sparked a major debate in the CWC. At the CWC meeting, Rahul Gandhi had questioned the timing of the letter and pointed out that it was sent when the party was facing crisis in Rajasthan and more importantly, Sonia Gandhi was unwell.

According to a top strategist of the Congress, the party high command is livid about the leak of the letter and has even identified the possible brains behind the move.

At the beginning of the CWC meeting, general secretary K C Venugopal, in charge of the organisation also lashed out at the leaders who wrote the letter. Speaking first in the meeting, he said, “why was the letter leaked?”