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New Delhi: A war of words broke out between Congress leaders at the ongoing working committee meeting on Monday over the party's leadership issue.

Amid news reports that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had hit out at the senior leaders who had drafted a letter demanding a systemic overhaul of the party, veteran party leaders like former union minister Kapil Sibal questioned his reported remarks over colluding with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, after posting a tweet expressing his displeasure over Gandhi's remarks, Sibal withdrew his comment.

"Rahul Gandhi says “we are colluding with BJP “. Succeeded in Rajasthan High Court defending the Congress Party. Defending party in Manipur to bring down BJP Govt. Last 30 years have never made a statement in favour of BJP on any issue. Yet “ we are colluding with the BJP “!," Sibal had posted on Twitter on Monday afternoon.

The senior party leader, after withdrawing the tweet, posted another saying, "Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him. I therefore withdraw my tweet."

According to people aware of developments, Gandhi spoke about the timing of the letter and how it may not be in the best interests of the party to go public with it. Some news reports quoted sources saying that Gandhi had accused party leaders of colluding with the BJP.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala was quick in denying the reports while responding to Sibal's tweet. "Sh. Rahul Gandhi hasn’t said a word of this nature nor alluded to it. Pl don’t be mislead by false media discourse or misinformation being spread. But yes, we all need to work together in fighting the draconian Modi rule rather then fighting & hurting each other & the Congress," Surjewala wrote on Twitter on Monday afternoon.

Following details of a letter by 23 Congress leaders came to public domain, first reported by The Indian Express on Sunday, support has grown from top leaders of the party for the Gandhi family. Three Congress chief ministers—Captain Amarinder Singh of Punjab, Ashok Gehlot of Rajasthan and Bhupesh Baghel of Chhattisgarh—along with senior party functionaries and lawmakers on Sunday took a public stand in favour of the Gandhi family continuing to lead the party and asked for former chief Rahul Gandhi to return to the top post.

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