Azad quits Congress, blames Rahul for putting a coterie of inexperienced sycophants in charge

The senior Congress leader was seemingly upset with the party after he was denied a Rajya Sabha seat.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad with party leader Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Azad resigned from all party positions, including its primary membership. (Photo | PTI)
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad with party leader Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Azad resigned from all party positions, including its primary membership. (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday resigned from the Congress after attacking Rahul Gandhi for demolishing the consultative mechanism in the party, sidelining all senior party leaders and letting a new coterie of inexperienced sycophants run the party.

Azad, a member of the G23 leaders that had written to the Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking organisational elelctions, wrote a five-page letter to her, in which he said, "Unfortunately, the situation in the Congress party has reached such a point of no return that now 'proxies' are being propped up to take over the leadership of the party."

The New Indian Express was the first to report in January that Azad had made up his mind to leave the Congress "albeit in a phased manner". There were speculations for months after that and in order to broker a peace deal, the party called a 'chintan shivir' in Udaipur announcing steps that were expected to trigger a revival.

Reacting to Azad's resignation, the party said it most unfortunate, most regrettable that this has happened when efforts are on to corner the government on price rise, unemployment and other issues.

"A man who has been treated by the greatest respect by the Congress leadership has betrayed it by his vicious personal attacks which reveals his true character. GNA's DNA has been modi-fied," tweeted party's comminication-and-media in-charge, Jairam Ramesh.

On reports that the Congress presidental election is expected to be delayed with Rahul refusing to take up the responsibility and the party pursuing a seemingly reluctant Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot to take on the charge, Azad said, "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."

Blaming Rahul for the party's defeat in the 2014 assembly elections, Azad cited the tearing up of an ordinance by UPA government to nullify a Supreme Court ruling on disqualifying convicted MPs and MLAs by former Congress chief in 2013 as one of the main reasons for the party's defeat.

"One of the most glaring examples of Rahul's immaturity is the childish behaviour of Rahul that completely subverted the authority of the Prime Minister and the Government of India. One single action more than anything else contributed significantly to the defeat of the UPA government in 2014 that was at the receiving end of a campaign of calumny and insinuation from a combination of the forces of the right wing and certain unscrupulous corporate interests," he said.

Azad was seemingly upset with the party after he was denied a Rajya Sabha seat.

"Worse still the remote control 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 Rahul Gandhi or rather worse his security guards and PAs," he said in a scathing indictment of Rahul.

Heaping praise on Sonia Gandhi, he said, "As President you heeded the wise counsel of senior leaders, besides trusting their judgement and delegating powers to them. However, unfortunately after the entry of Rahul Gandhi into politics and particularly after January 2013, when he was appointed as Vice President by you, the entire consultative mechanism which existed earlier was demolished by him."

"All senior and experienced leaders were sidelined and a new coterie of inexperienced sycophants started running the affairs of the party. Unfortunately, at the national level we have conceded the political space available to us to the BJP and state level space to regional parties. This all happened because the leadership in the past 8 years has tried to foist a non-serious individual at the helm of the party," he added.

Calling the process of organisational elelctions that is underway in the party "a farce and a sham", he said, "At no place anywhere in the country have elections been held at any level of the organisation. Handpicked lieutenants of the AICC have been coerced to sign on lists prepared by the coterie that runs the AICC sitting in 24 Akbar Road. At no place in a booth block, district or state was an electoral roll published, nominations invited. scrutinized, polling booths set up and elections held. The AICC leadership is squarely responsible for perpetrating a giant fraud on the party to perpetuate its hold on the ruins of what once was a national movement that fought for and attained the Independence of India."

Concluding the letter, he said the Congress has lost both the will and the ability under the tutelage of the coterie that runs the AICC to fight for what is right for India.

"In fact, before starting the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the leadership should have undertaken a Congress jodo exercise across the country. It is therefore with great regret and an extremely leaden heart that I have decided to sever my half a century old association with the Congress and hereby resign from all my positions including the primary member of the Congress," he said.



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