Not the first time that Congress is on the verge of a split

A similar situation arose in March 1998 when in a CWC meeting Sitaram Kesri was removed and Sonia Gandhi was appointed president. Sharad Pawar, Tariq Anwar and PA Sangma walked out from the party and formed the NCP.
Kapil Sibal

New Delhi : The Congress has now become a divided house after the fresh attack launched by Kapil Sibal and the Congress workers protesting at Sibal’s residence which many leaders termed as hooliganism.

This is not the first time there is a rift in the party. During Indira Gandhi’s time the Congress was split into two on November 12, 1969 over differences with K Kamaraj. Indira Gandhi was expelled from the Congress party for violating party discipline. She then formed the Congress (R) and a majority of the AICC members walked over to her side.

A similar situation arose in March 1998 when in a CWC meeting Sitaram Kesri was removed and Sonia Gandhi was appointed president. Sharad Pawar, Tariq Anwar and PA Sangma walked out from the party and formed the NCP.

Apart from this there was the revolt by VP Singh against Rajiv Gandhi and he became Prime Minister with the help of the BJP in 1989, then when Narasimha Rao became party president Madhav Rao Scindia formed the MP Congress, GK Moopanar the Tamil Manila Congress and ND Tiwari, Arjun Singh and Sheila Dikshit formed the Tiwari Congress only to merge when Sonia Gandhi became the party president.

Mamata Banerjee formed the Trinamool Congress which is now the ruling party in West Bengal. The YSRCP is also a Congress off-shoot which is at the helm in Andhra Pradesh, as is the NR Congress in Puducherry.

Once again the party is on the verge of a split with the G-23 calling for action on the Sibal incident. But there is silence on the issue by the top leadership,which means it is unlikely that any action will be taken.

The leaders have reminded the workers of Sibal’s contribution to the party in the courts and in parliament. Senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad termed the incident orchestrated. “I strongly condemn the orchestrated hooliganism @KapilSibal’s residence last night. He is a loyal Congressman fighting for the party both inside and outside the Parliament. Any suggestion from any quarter should be welcomed instead of suppressing, hooliganism is unacceptable.” he said.

Likewise Manish Tewari and Vivek Tankha have also expressed their displeasure while Anand Sharma said he is shocked. Former Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh who showed his intent to leave the party alleged that seniors are insulted.

Now the rift between former party president Rahul Gandhi’s loyalists and those who want reforms has widened with no sign of a truce, the reason being there is nobody who can bring both the factions to the table. A leader pointed out that, “its ironic that Rahul Gandhi has himself become a party in the entire crisis rather he should have been the solution provider.” The leader said that due to bad advice and bad decisions of a coterie the party has reached such a low.

Rahul Gandhi loyalists Ajay Maken and Randeep Singh Surjewala have attacked the leaders who are questioning the leadership.

Amarinder Singh, who is at the exit door, too pointed out that “Unfortunately, the seniors are being completely sidelined”, adding that this was not good for the party. He also condemned the rowdyism at Kapil Sibal’s house by Congress workers only because he had chosen to express views that were not palatable to the party leadership.

The G-23 group says that they are not going to relent or leave the party but will be raising all the issues, which they think is better for the party.

Kapil Sibal on Wednesday launched an attack on Rahul Gandhi and wondered who is taking decisions in the party. He said that the party leaders’ demand for organisational elections has not been met even a year after a letter was written by the G-23.

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