Cong ‘getting weak’, but not utilising experience of senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad: Sibal

Jammu: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal Saturday said here the party was “getting weak”, but was not utilising the vast political experience of veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who recently retired from Rajya Sabha.

Sibal was among several party leaders including Manish Tewari, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Raj Babbar and Anand Sharma who joined Azad at a function organised by the Gandhi Global family in a show of strength by the ‘G-23’ faction of the party.

These leaders were among the 23 Congress members who had recently written to party chief Sonia Gandhi seeking an organisational overhaul.

“We feel the Congress is getting weak and time has come to rejuvenate the party to make it regain its lost glory,” Sibal said in his address to the function.

“Why we came together here?” Sibal questioned to answer, “The truth is that we are feeling the Congress is getting weak. And therefore we came together, like in the past, to work for strengthening the party.”

Taking a pledge from the podium, he said there are many leaders who were not present at the function who support them, and “we will sacrifice whatever is necessary to make the nation and the party strong.”

“We want the Congress to be strengthened in every district of the country. We do not want the Congress to be weak as, if the Congress is weak, the nation s weak, he said.

“What is the real role of Azad? he asked, equating him with a pilot and an engineer manning an airplane and said he knows the party at the grassroots level across the country. “I fail to understand why the Congress is not utilising his experience.”

He said the Congress is freeing Azad from Parliament which “we do not want because since he came into politics, he has played his role for the party and gained a lot of experience over the years.”

Sibal said they came here to take the Congress to newer heights. “We promise those who are sitting here and many more who are outside and support us that we will work to strengthen the party.

Taking on the BJP-led government, the Congress leader said Mahatma Gandhi treaded the path of truth but this “government is peddling lies”.

“Gandhiji was embracing non-violence while this government was embracing violence. They are talking about Gandhiji but they do not adopt his truthfulness or non-violence,” he said.

“What is the issue before the nation?” he asked and claimed that the “BJP is using the resources to strengthen the party and not the people of the country”.

“They are conspiring and using the money power to bring down our elected governments and silencing the right-thinking people and anyone speaking against them by misusing the government agencies. It is happening in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere as well,” he said.

He said, “We have to end dictatorship and for that we have to start a new freedom struggle. We have sounded the bugle from here and it will be taken to every nook and corner of the country.”

He also took a dig at the BJP-led government for downgrading Jammu and Kashmir to the status of a union territory and said the people of the erstwhile state need their representatives to govern them.

He said 130 core people of the country cannot be run by a few capitalists. “We will not take it and will educate people about the present dispensation.”

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