Ahmedabad, Oct 2 (PTI) Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday said remaining silent was not an option under the BJP government as it would mean one is complicit in its "atrocities". Speaking about the turmoil within the Congress, Sibal, who is part of the so-called `G-23' group of dissidents, said he did not know if the party was ready for reforms but he can only voice his own sentiments.
“I don't want to comment on that tweet of P Chidambaram as he is a dear colleague. I can only say that in politics when I talk about Modi (government), safe harbour is not silence,” Sibal told reporters here in reply to a question on a recent tweet by the former finance minister.
“This is no time to be silent, if you are silent against the atrocities of the Modi government then you are complicit,” he added.
Chidambaram had tweeted on September 30 that he felt helpless "when we cannot start meaningful conversations within party forums" and when one sees Congress workers shouting slogans outside the residence of a colleague and MP.
“The safe harbour to which one can withdraw seems to be silence,” he had said. The tweets came after Congress workers shouted slogans against Sibal.
To a question about the G-23 group, Sibal said, “There is no G-23, you called it G-23. It is a set of people who want reforms from within, that's about it. The reforms that we want, we have spoken about in the past, there is no point in repeating it." “I have no grievances (against the party), whatever I have said, I have said, there is nothing more that I wish to say,” Sibal said in reply to another question.
Asked if the Congress leadership was not inclined to implement the reforms suggested by the group, the Rajya Sabha member said, “I don't know if the party is ready for reforms or not, I can only voice my sentiments.” To the question whether he thought if the party was taking a strong stand against the "atrocities" of the Modi government, Sibal said the party was speaking about it. "Rahul Gandhi has raised his voice against it, that is good of Rahul Gandhi,” he added.
When asked if the Congress had ceded the "middle ground" to the BJP and taken a left turn, Sibal said he disagreed.
"They (BJP) have changed the rules of the game. Cricket is played by the rules of the game. If you have a doubt about an LBW or a catch, the decision is to be given by the third umpire. But here they have taken over every system and they have become umpires," Sibal said.
"ED is the umpire, CBI is the umpire, they try to influence courts, they have captured the system. If you change the rules, then there will be no middle ground," the Congress leader said.
Prime minister Modi speaks about Mahatma Gandhi and tries to appropriate him from the Congress, but "he is doing everything opposite of what Gandhi said," Sibal stated.
On the trouble within the Punjab Congress, Sibal said, “I am a party worker, if I had been a decision-maker, I would have told you. I am a worker, and I will continue to work.” On the recent government change in the BJP-ruled Gujarat, Sibal said the chief ministers were also made to resign in Karnataka and Uttarakhand, and the saffron party also "tried to do it in Uttar Pradesh but it could not be done." The BJP replaced governments in these states because it felt the incumbent leaders would not win it elections, the Congress leader claimed.
He credited Rahul Gandhi for the Congress' impressive performance in the 2017 Assembly polls in Gujarat, saying he came and stayed for three months and energized the party. "What is the situation now in Gujarat Congress I don't know,” he added.