Knives out at CWC: Azad dares Rahul to prove charges of collusion with BJP

New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday saw intense action and reactions between the members amid open rebellion after former Congress President Rahul Gandhi targeted party leaders accusing them of colluding with the BJP for writing a letter to party interim chief Sonia Gandhi seeking leadership change.

Ghulam Nabi Azad said that he will quit the party if proven that he was colluding with the ruling BJP.

Party sources said senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, while speaking in the CWC, the highest decision making body of the party, said: “If you can prove that I am colluding with BJP, I will quit right now.”

Azad also praised Sonia Gandhi for leading the party amid the difficult times.

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, meanwhile took to Twitter and wrote, “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 government. Last 30 years have never made a statement in favour of BJP on any issue. Yet ‘we are colluding with the BJP’!”

The remarks from the senior Congress leaders came soon after Rahul Gandhi on Monday targeted the party dissenters and questioned the timing of a letter which was sent to interim chief Sonia Gandhi seeking leadership change.

Congress sources said that Rahul Gandhi at the CWC said, “What was the reason to write a letter when Sonia Gandhi was admitted in hospital and when the party was fighting the political crisis in Rajasthan.”

Sonia Gandhi was admitted in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on July 30 for routine checkup and was discharged on August 2. While the Rajasthan political crisis began on July 11 when former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot rebelled against the party leadership. The Rajasthan crisis was taken care of by the top leadership on August 11.

Earlier as the CWC meeting began, Sonia Gandhi offered to step down from the party’s top post. The move was rejected by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he asked her to continue.

During the CWC meeting, senior Congress leader A.K. Antony also questioned the letter written by several party leaders urging for sweeping reforms, and “a full-time, visible leadership”.

Haryana Congress leader Kumari Selja also targeted the dissenters for writing the letter seeking leadership change and called the leaders who wrote it agents of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The meeting comes weeks after the Congress saw a stormy meeting of its Rajya Sabha MPs wherein certain leaders sought introspection on the 2019 poll debacle.

It was thereafter, a bunch of leaders wrote the letter to Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on the issue of leadership change and elections in the CWC.