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Congress ‘getting weak’, didn’t utilise Ghulam Nabi Azad’s experience: Kapil Sibal in Jammu

At the event titled ‘Shanti Sammelan, aimed at reconnecting with the cadre on the ground, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said he was saddened by the decision to allow party veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad to retire from Parliament and that the Congress could have used his experience better.

Congress getting weak, didn't utilise Ghulam Nabi Azad's experience: Kapil Sibal in Jammu-dnm
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Jammu, First Published Feb 27, 2021, 5:44 PM IST
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The Congress is "getting weak" and needs to strengthened, senior party leader Kapil Sibal said at a public event in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, as members of the G-23 - a group of senior leaders who have openly questioned the Gandhi’s leadership style - converged to send a sharp reminder to the party's central leadership ahead of five key elections in the next few weeks.

At the event titled ‘Shanti Sammelan, aimed at reconnecting with the cadre on the ground, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said he was saddened by the decision to allow party veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad to retire from Parliament and that the Congress could have used his experience better.

“He (Azad) is one such leader who knows the ground reality of Congress in every district of every state. We were saddened when we realised that he is being freed from Parliament. We didn’t want him to go from Parliament…I can’t understand why Congress is not using his experience,” he said.

"The truth is that we see the Congress party getting weak. That is why we have gathered here. We had gathered together earlier too and we have to strengthen the party together," news agency ANI quoted him as saying.

Apart from Sibal, the group that took to the stage included former Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Union Minister Anand Sharma, Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha, Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Azad, at the Jammu convention, focused his address on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir under the Narendra Modi government.

“Be it Jammu or Kashmir or Ladakh, we respect all religions, people, and castes. We equally respect everyone, that is our strength and we will continue with this," Azad said, adding that the Congress has been persistently raising the questions over "unemployment, stripping off of statehood, finishing off industries and education in J&K over the past 5-6 years.”

Anand Sharma said that for the first time since the 1950s, Jammu and Kashmir does not have a representative in the Rajya Sabha and it will be “corrected” soon.

Echoing Sibal, he said, “Congress has weakened in the last decade. Our voice is for the betterment of the party. It should be strengthened everywhere once again. New generation should connect (to the party). We’ve seen good days of Congress. We don’t want to see it weakening as we become older. We will save the Congress.”

Elections will be held in Assam (where the Congress is hoping to oust the ruling BJP), Bengal (where it is widely viewed as being well behind the BJP and ruling Trinamool), Tamil Nadu (where it swept the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the DMK) and Kerala (where it is looking to return to power).

An election will also be held in Puducherry, where the Congress last week lost its government after yet another wave of defections that, it alleges, was engineered by the BJP.

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