NEW DELHI: Congress leader Akhilesh Prasad Singh on Saturday defended the organisational reshuffle which reconstituted the party's working committee while refuting claims that the senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has received the axe from the high command.
The Rajya Sabha MP said that Azad who is the leader of the opposition in the Upper House will always be well-respected in the party and that retaining him in the Congress Working Committee (CWC) is proof enough.
"Azad sahab is a big leader of Congress, a well-respected leader and he commands a lot of respect from the entire party cadre. I am aware that he himself had expressed the wish to be replaced as in-charge of Haryana," Singh told ANI here.
"Further, he is still in the CWC, which is the largest body for decision making in the party, and also he is the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha," he added.
In a major organisational rejig, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Friday dropped veteran leaders such as Azad, Motilal Vora, Ambika Soni, Mallikarjun Kharge and Luizinho Falerio from their posts as general secretaries. She also also constituted a six-member special committee to assist her in "organizational and operational matters".
Azad and Soni, however, continue in the reconstituted working committee.
Azad was among 23 leaders who had written a letter last month to Sonia Gandhi calling for a complete overhaul of the organisation, conducting elections for the post of party chief, among other issues.