Congress leader Kapil Sibal said that Ghulam Nabi Azad is an experienced person who can play the role of an engineer in fixing anomalies within the party.
Congress dissenters today held a Shanti Sammelan’ in Jammu in presence of Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Raj Babbar and Anand Sharma. The G-23 leaders echoed a similar sentiment on the need to strengthen the party. Addressin the sammelan, Anand Sharma said, “We have not given anyone the right to tell me if we are people of Congress or not, nobody has that right. We will build the party, we will strengthen it. We believe in the strength and unity of Congress.”
Sharma said that all the leaders have covered a very long distance to reach where they are today in Congress. “Nobody among us has come through the window, all of us have walked through the door. We have come through the student’s movement, the youth movement,” said Sharma.
He added that Congress has weakened in the last decade. “Our voice is for the betterment of the party. It should be strengthened everywhere once again. The 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,” said Sharma.
Speaking about Jammu and Kashmir, Sharma said that there has never been such an occasion after 1950 when there were no representatives from the state in the Rajya Sabha. This will be corrected,” said Sharma.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal said that Ghulam Nabi Azad is an experienced person who can play the role of an engineer in fixing anomalies within the party. “He 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 is Congress not using his experience,” said Sibal.
Sibal also said that the leaders are seeing Congress party getting weak and called for strengthening the party together.
Senior Congress leader Raj Babbar said that the G23 represent Gandhi 23. “People say ‘G23’, I say Gandhi 23. With the belief, resolve and thinking of Mahatma Gandhi, this nation’s law and Constitution was formed. Congress is standing strongly to take these forward. ‘G23’ want Congress to be strong,” said Babbar.
Ghulam Nabi Azad said that this is not the first time he has retired from Parliament and added that he has not retired from politics. He said that infrastructure facilities in Jammu and Kashmir will not improve unless there are elected representatives and an elected government. “In the last 5-6 yrs, all these friends did not speak any less than me in Parliament over Jammu and Kashmir, be it unemployment, stripping-off of statehood, finishing-off industries and education or implementation of GST,” said Azad.
He said that be it Jammu or Kashmir or Ladakh, Congress respect all religions, people and castes. “We equally respect everyone, that is our strength and we will continue with this,” said Azad.
The Congress dissenters, popularly known as G-23, have been raising their voice to carry out structural reforms within the Congress party to revive its presence and bring its glory back.