As Congress party won only 19 out of the 70 seats it contested in the Bihar assembly elections, dissenting voices against the top leadership are being heard again. While the state leaders in Bihar came out in the open to express their disappointment against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, with some leaders skipping the CLP meeting in Patna and others creating ruckus, senior leaders like Kapil Sibbal have confronted the party on it suffering yet another defeat.
Kapil Sibal in an interview with The Indian Express said that the people of the country don’t consider the "Congress as an effective alternative." He said that if for six years the Congress has not introspected, "what hope do we have for introspection now?" Moreover, Kapil Sibal also said that probably the Central leadership thinks that things are fine even as the party's progress continues to take a downward trajectory.
Backing Sibal, Congress MLA Karti Chidambaram has said that it is time Congress party "introspect, ideate, consult & act". Karti has also tagged the official Twitter handle of his party while responding to Sibal's tweet.
Former Union minister and senior leader of Congress P Chidambaram had opined that the people of Bihar came "pretty close" to changing the government but added that the grand old party is "disappointed" by its performance. "We accept the verdict. We are disappointed with our performance in Bihar. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) will review it in due course and come up with an official statement of our position."
It must be noted that dissenting voices had risen in Congress party a few months ago against the backdrop of the fight between Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan. Senior Congress leaders like Kapil Sibal and Ghulam Nabi Azad had then spoken openly against the Central leadership of the Gandhis, and 23 senior leaders had demanded robust reforms in the party. However, interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was able to quash the rebellion and had assured party members of reviewing the raised demands.
Congress has been in a leadership dilemma since Rahul Gandhi quit as party chief in the post-Lok Sabha 2019 debacle. This led to a barrage of resignations from various posts. Amidst a lot of turmoil with Priyanka Vadra also being considered, Congress finally went back to their safe option and named Sonia Gandhi as its interim chief. Recently, her tenure was again extended. While some loyalists have time and again implored 50-year-old Rahul Gandhi to take back the reins of the party, this has also been met with significant opposition. Moreover, prominent Congress leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Khushbu Sundar have quit the party and joined BJP.
In Bihar, Mahagathbandhan won 110 seats but failed to cross the majority mark and form its government in the state. Congress ally RJD's leader Shivanand Tiwari has blamed Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi for the debacle. However, Rahul loyalists seem to deny - Ex-Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam dismissed the remark by the RJD leader saying it is a trend to blame Rahul Gandhi. Even as revolt brews again, only time will tell if reforms and change in leadership will take place in the grand-old Congress party.