Sparks flew and tensions intensified between the Congress party's old guard and its young members during a virtual meeting of the grand old party's Rajya Sabha MPs convened by party chief Sonia Gandhi on July 30.
According to a report by The Indian Express, while party veterans such as Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram said that Congress has to introspect on its recent losses, including last year's Lok Sabha elections and the Madhya Pradesh political crisis, the younger MPs were more blunt. For instance, Rajeev Satav said that introspection should begin at home.
"Introspect by all means…. but how did we come to 44…that should also be looked into. We were 200-plus in 2009. You are all saying this (need to introspect) now. You were all ministers then. Frankly, it should also be looked into where you failed. You have to introspect from the UPA II period," Satav said, according to an MP present at the meeting.
Satav, who is a former Youth Congress president and the party's Gujarat in-charge, made these remarks in presence of senior Congress leaders, who were also ministers during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-II regime. According to the report, some of the leaders interpreted the remarks as an attack against them.
Other senior leaders, meanwhile, including Punjab MP Shamsher Singh Dullo hit back at the 'young turks' stating that "sycophants are being rewrded" while the senior leaders are being "ignored".
"Sycophancy prevails in the party and promotion and posts are being given in the party based on liking and not on merit and seniority," Dullo said, according to the report.
Other leaders, including Satav and Digvijaya Singh, also demanded that Rahul Gandhi be brought back as the party president.