A day after senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal unleashed a barrage of criticism about the state of affairs in the Congress following its dismal show in the Bihar polls and assembly bye-elections, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid has taken on his party's 'Doubting Thomases'.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Khurshid said: "Bahadur Shah Zafar and his words might be a useful companion for many of our party colleagues who suffer periodic pangs of anxiety." 

"When we do well, admittedly somewhat infrequently they take it for granted. But when we underperform, not even do badly, they are quick to bite their nails. By the looks of it there would be little of the nails left for future disappointments. Is it really a case of a bad workmen quarreling with their tools?"

Khurshid wrote: "If the mood of the electorate is resistant to the liberal values we have espoused and cherished we should be prepared for a long struggle rather than look for short cuts to get back into power. Being excluded from power is not to be casually embraced in public life but if it is the result of principled politics it should be accepted with honour."

Without naming Kapil Sibal, he said: "So the constant refrain of some persons should not be of aimless introspection but for reaffirmation of fundamental principles we believe in. If we are explicitly or implicitly willing to compromise with our principles to regain power we might as well pack up our bags. It is another matter that consolidation of our principled politics, like any cause, requires periodic re-appraisal and re-writing of strategy and logistics. But those cannot be done in the media for our adversaries to check mate it promptly."

To recall, Kapil Sibal had -- in an interview to The Indian Express -- said that party must "recognize that it is in decline". 

Sibal said he had been forced to go public with his views as "there had been no dialogue and there seemed to be no effort for a dialogue by the leadership".

Responding to Sibal's remarks, Khurshid said: "Let our impatience be directed at those who have sullied the humanistic ethos of the great Indian civilization rather than with self perceived impressions of just deserts. Great minds have self doubt, not the arrogance of doubting the world around themselves."