Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday said people like Kapil Sibal who maintained a "dignified silence" after leaving the party could be allowed to return, but not the ones like Jyotiraditya Scindia or Himanta Biswa Sarma. Mr Ramesh, who is the Congress's media head, also termed Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia as a "24-carat traitor".
Asked what would be the party's stand if any of the renegade leaders wished to return, Mr Ramesh told PTI, "I think the people who have left the Congress should not be welcome back.
"There are people who left and abused the party, so they should not be taken back. But there are people who left the party with dignity and have been maintaining a dignified silence on the Congress party and its leadership," he said.
Mr Ramesh was speaking on the sidelines of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra which reached Agar Malwa in MP on Friday.
"I can think of my former colleague and a very good friend Kapil Sibal who left the party for some reason, but he has maintained a very dignified silence on the Congress party, unlike Mr Scindia and Mr Himanta Biswa Sarma," Mr Ramesh said.
"So I think such leaders who have maintained a dignity could be welcome back, but those people who have left the party and kicked the party and its leadership should not be welcome back," he added.
When asked would Mr Scindia have left the Congress if he had been offered the post of party president, Madhya Pradesh chief minister or a Rajya Sabha berth, Mr Ramesh said, "Scindia is a 'gaddar' (traitor), true gaddar, real gaddar and 24 carat gaddar."
Reacting to Mr Ramesh's comments, Madhya Pradesh BJP secretary Rajneesh Agrawal said Mr Scindia was a "24 carat patriot with strong cultural roots."
He said both Mr Scindia and Mr Sarma have "24 carat" commitment to their work and Mr Ramesh's remarks were "uncultured" and "totally undemocratic".
Mr Sarma left the Congress in 2015 blaming Rahul Gandhi's `mismanagement' for the party's electoral debacle and joined the BJP. He went on to become a Union minister and later chief minister of Assam. Scindia quit the Grand Old Party in 2020 which resulted in the fall of the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh. He was later inducted in the Union cabinet and made civil aviation minister.