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  India   Politics  27 Aug 2022  Ghulam Nabi leaves Congress, to form own party in J&K soon

Ghulam Nabi leaves Congress, to form own party in J&K soon

THE ASIAN AGE. | ASHHAR KHAN
Published : Aug 27, 2022, 7:18 am IST
Updated : Aug 27, 2022, 7:18 am IST

Azad implied that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was just a figurehead and it was Mr Gandhi who was taking all the decisions

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad  (PTI file photo)
 Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad (PTI file photo)

New Delhi: In a massive blow to the Congress, veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad quit from all party posts and ended his 50-year- old association with the party. Launching a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi, Mr Azad said Mr Gandhi had “demolished” the “entire consultative mechanism” in the party, sidelined all “senior and experienced” leaders and let a “new coterie” of “inexperienced sycophants” run the party.

He implied that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was just a figurehead and it was Mr Gandhi who was taking all the decisions. Taking on the “coterie”culture, he wrote in his resignation letter to Mrs Gandhi: “Worse still, the remote control model that demolished the institutional integrity of the UPA government now got applied to the Indian National Congress. While you are just a nominal figurehead, all the important decisions were being taken by Shri Rahul Gandhi or rather worse, his security guards and PAs.”

Leaders close to Mr Azad claim that he will soon be starting his own outfit in Jammu and Kashmir before the proposed Assembly elections in the state. Five former MLAs of the party from J&K quit the Congress in support of Mr Azad. Sources say he is keen on a new outfit on his home turf, and also wants to be a force in the coming Assembly elections. Many more leaders of the Congress are likely to go with Mr Azad, leaving the grand old party in disarray in the state.
The former Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha claimed that the party has “reached a point of no return” as “proxies” are put up for leadership roles and called the coming organisational elections “a farce and a sham”. He added: “This experiment is doomed to fail because the party has been so comprehensively destroyed that the situation has become irretrievable. Moreover, the chosen one would be nothing more than a puppet on a string.”

Chiding the “Bharat Jodo Yatra” due to start next month, he said: “In fact, before starting a Bharat Jodo Yatra, the leadership should have undertaken a Congress Jodo exercise across the country.” Hitting out at Mr Gandhi, he said: “One of the most glaring examples of his immaturity was the tearing up of the government ordinance in the full glare of the media in 2013 by Rahul Gandhi. This childish behaviour completely subverted the authority of the Prime Minister and the Government of India.”

In his letter, Mr Azad wrote to Mrs Gandhi: “Under your stewardship since 2014 and subsequently that of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress has lost two Lok Sabha elections in a humiliating manner. It has lost 39 out of the 49 Assembly elections held between 2014 and 2022.” He further added that since the 2019 general election the situation has only worsened. “After Rahul Gandhi stepped down in a ‘huff’ and not before insulting all the senior party functionaries who have given their lives to the party in a meeting of the extended working committee, you took over as interim president. A position that you have continue to hold even today for the past three years.”

Mr Azad claimed that the Congress had conceded its political space to the BJP and regional parties “because the leadership in the past eight years has tried to foist a non-serious individual” at the helm of the party. He was also a key member of the G-23 change-seekers’ group who had written a letter to the Congress president in 2020 seeking sweeping changes in the party. He said after the letter he had been humiliated, attacked and vilified. Even a mock funeral was taken out in Jammu. Mr Azad also mentioned that the house of a former Congress leader, Kapil Sibal, who was also a part of the G-23 grouping, was also attacked by Congress workers but the leadership kept mum.

Interestingly, Mr Azad praised Mrs Gandhi for her tenure as party chief during the UPA-1 and UPA-2 governments. He added that this was because she heeded the wiser counsels of senior leaders.

The exit of Mr Azad comes as another major blow for the Congress. The last one year has seen major exits from the Congress, which include Kapil Sibal, Capt. Amarinder Singh, Ashwani Kumar, R.P.N. Singh, Jitin Prasada and Sunil Jakhar, among several other leaders.

Tags: congress leader ghulam nabi azad, indian national congress
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi