G-23, Singhvi episodes have exposed Cong’s ‘internal democracy’ claim

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G-23, Singhvi episodes have exposed Cong’s ‘internal democracy’ claim
New Delhi: The Congress claims to practise internal democracy, but the way it treated the G-23 dissidents, and most recently, how Abhishek Manu Singhvi was made to retract his X post on the caste census, seem to point to the contrary.

Senior party leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi voiced his concern over party leader Rahul Gandhi’s demand for equal participation of all castes in the workforce on the basis of their population.

Singhvi differed with the view of Rahul Gandhi and said that people endorsing ‘jitni aabadi, utna haq’ have to first completely understand the consequences of it. It will eventually culminate into majoritarianism.

In a post on X, Singhvi on October 3 said, “Equality of opportunity is never the same as equality of outcomes. People endorsing ‘jitni abadi utna haq’ have to first completely understand the consequences of it. It will eventually culminate into majoritarianism.”

His remarks came after the Bihar government on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2 released the much awaited caste-based survey.

Following the release of the caste-based census, Rahul Gandhi reiterated his demand that the greater the population, the greater the rights.

He said that the census has revealed that OBCs, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (ST) are 84 per cent in the state and therefore it is important to know the caste statistics of India.

“The caste census of Bihar has revealed that OBCs (other backward classes), SC and STs are 84 per cent there. Out of 90 secretaries of the Central Government, only three are OBCs, who handle only 5 per cent of India’s budget,” Rahul Gandhi wrote on X.

“Therefore, it is important to know the caste statistics of India. The greater the population, the greater the rights – this is our pledge,” the Lok Sabha MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said.

However, the Congress differed with the view of Singhvi and said that it is a reflection of his personal view, and “in no way does it reflect the position of the party”.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh in a post on X said, “Dr. Singhvi’s tweet may be a reflection of his own personal view but in no way does it reflect the position of the Indian National Congress — the essence of which is contained both in the Raipur Declaration on 26th February, 2023 and in the CWC Resolution of September 16th, 2023.”

After the party differed with Singhvi, he deleted his post from the social media platform.

This was not the lone case. Veteran party leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal also became the victim of sharing his concern openly in the party. Sibal was part of the G-23 leaders, who had been vocal about the grievances within the party.

He was a prominent member of the G23, which had sought an organisational overhaul in the Congress.

Sibal resigned from the party a day after the party’s three-day Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir in Rajasthan’s Udaipur from May 13 to May 15.

“I had tendered my resignation from the Congress party on May 16. It is important to be an independent voice. While staying in Opposition we want to create an alliance so that we can oppose the Modi government. We want that the people know about the flaws of the Modi government. I will put my efforts for that,” Sibal had said after his resignation.

However, Sibal too had to face the ire of the party workers after he taunted the party leadership in September 2021.

Sibal had taunted the Gandhis with his “G-23, not Ji Huzoor-23” comment, to which party workers protested outside his residence with “Get well soon” placards, and threw tomatoes and also damaged his car.

Workers of the Youth Congress also raised slogans of “Leave the party! Come to your senses!” and “Rahul Gandhi Zindabad!”

Sibal had earlier called the media and raised a series of questions against the backdrop of the Congress’s Punjab meltdown. “In the Congress there is no elected president now. Who is taking calls? We don’t know who is taking decisions in the party,” he had said.

“We are G-23, definitely not Ji Huzoor-23. We will keep raising issues,” Sibal had said without naming the Gandhis.

Youth Congress chief Srinivas BV had then said on Twitter, now X, “Listen ”Ji-Huzoor” :- The ”President” and ”Leadership” of the party are the same, who always ensured your entry in Parliament, made you a ‘minister’ during the good times of the party, when in opposition, ensured your entry into Rajya Sabha, always rewarded with responsibilities in good and bad times. And when the ”time” came for struggle, then…”

Even veteran party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, also part of the G23 leaders in the Congress, had to face the ire of the party leaders and workers for being vocal.

Azad’s relationship with the Congress’s central leadership has been fraught in recent times before he decided to quit the Congress on August 26 last year.

Many of the party leaders had to face the party’s wrath for speaking up in public criticizing the party leadership. Many senior leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Sushmita Dev, Captain Amarinder Singh, Jitin Prasada, Mukul Sangma, Ripun Bora, Luizinho Faleiro, Jaiveer Shergill, Sunil Jakhar and many others had left the Congress in the last few years complaining about the working style of the party.


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