Senior Congress leader and a member of the ‘Group of 23’, Kapil Sibal has held the party’s central leadership responsible for the poor performance of the party in Bihar, where it could manage to win only 19 out of 70 seats it contested as a Grand Alliance constituent.
Though several other Congress leaders of Bihar have too express their anguish over the state of affairs within the organization Sibal’s comment is getting media publicity because he was one of the signatories of 23 senior leaders who wrote a letter expressing concern over the state of affairs within the party after the May 2019 Lok Sabha debacle. The letter was leaked to the media just ahead of the Congress Working Committee meeting on August 24. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi took strong exceptions to the letter.
However, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, while criticizing Sibal , said that the party would overcome the challenge as it had done several times between 1969 and 1996 and even later. He restrained partymen from publicly expressing their opinion. Earlier, former Union Agriculture Minister, Tariq Anwar, too said that introspection would be made over the party’s failure to perform better in Bihar.
On the other hand senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Shivanand Tiwary criticised Rahul Gandhi for the way he had led the campaign in Bihar. Tiwary said when his own party was making all out efforts Rahul was attending party at Priyanka Gandhi’s home in Shimla. This was the sharpest criticism from any RJD leader of any member of the Gandhi family. Incidentally, Priyanka herself did not campaign in Bihar.
However, the RJD Rajya Sabha member Manoj Jha, downplayed Tiwary’s criticism by stating that this was his personal opinion and not that of the party. He said that different factors of the election verdict are being examined.