'Congress moves on with eyes wide shut', says Sibal after Sushmita Dev resigns

Sushmita Dev sent her resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi on Sunday saying she is resigning from the primary membership of Congress, but did not give any specific reason. Kapil Sibal is among the leaders who have been highlighting the crisis brewing in the party.
File photo of senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal. (PTI Photo)
File photo of senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal. (PTI Photo)
Published on Aug 16, 2021 10:32 AM IST
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By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Shortly after Sushmita Dev resigned from the Congress, the party's senior leader Kapil Sibal accused the leadership of moving on with "eyes wide shut". Sibal is one of the 23 leaders (called G-23) who wrote an open letter to party president Sonia Gandhi last year demanding sweeping changes in the Congress.

"Sushmita Dev Resigns from primary membership of our Party. While young leaders leave we ‘oldies’ are blamed for our efforts to strengthen it. The Party moves on with:Eyes Wide Shut," the Rajya Sabha MP said on Twitter.

Dev sent her resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi on Sunday saying she is resigning from the primary membership of the party, but did not give any specific reason.

In her letter to Gandhi, Dev said she was beginning a "new chapter in my life of public service". Dev has also changed her Twitter bio to former member of the party and former head of Congress' women's wing.

Dev is the daughter of late veteran Congressman Santosh Mohan Dev and came to Parliament for the first time in 2014 from the family seat of Silchar in Assam.

With his comments, Sibal has once again highlighted the crisis brewing in the Congress party. It is facing troubles on multiple fronts.

Congress has been functioning without a full-time president - Sonia Gandhi is the working president of the party. Sibal and the other 22 Congress leaders had demanded elections to appoint a new president. Rahul Gandhi, who took over as Congress president, resigned after the party's second consecutive loss to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2019 General Elections.

Then there is the issue of defection. In June, two-term Lok Sabha MP and former Union minister Jitin Prasada joined the BJP, more than a year after Jyotiraditya Scindia switched sides. The Congress has also been facing trouble in states like Rajasthan, where former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot rebelled against the state leadership. The party's high command has been making several attempts to placate Pilot.

It has, for the time being, handled the situation in Punjab where Navjot Sidhu revolted against chief minister Amarinder Singh. But the rumbling is a matter of concern for the party which is looking to retain power in Punjab in next year's assembly election. In 2017, the Congress, under Singh, won a comfortable majority, displacing the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government in the process.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022