Quits Congress; may float a party in J&K
KD NEWS SERVICE
SRINAGAR, Aug 26: Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday resigned from the party holding Rahul Gandhi (RaGa) responsible for “demolishing the consultative mechanism” in Congress.
In a hard-hitting 5 page note to party interim president Sonia Gandhi, Azad claimed that a coterie runs the party while she was just a ‘nominal head’ and all the major decisions were taken by “Rahul Gandhi or rather worse his security guards and Pas”.
The development comes days after Azad resigned from the organisational post of Jammu and Kashmir. Recounting his long association with the Congress and his close relationship with Indira
Gandhi, Azad said the situation in the Congress party has reached a point of “no return.” “The entire organisational election process is a farce and a sham. At no place anywhere in the country have elections been held at any level of the organisation. Handpicked lieutenants of the AICC has been coerced to sign on lists prepared by the coterie that runs the AICC sitting in 24 Akbar Road,” Azad wrote in his resignation letter.
Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi, Azad wrote, “Since the 2019 elections the situation in the party 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 continued to hold even today for the past three years.”
Azad said that it was “worse still the ‘remote control model’ that demolished the institutional integrity of the UPA government now got applied to the Indian National Congress.”
He continued the attack on Rahul Gandhi. Azad’s resignation comes ahead of the 2024 elections and after indications that elections to the post of Congress chief would be postponed yet again. Congress top leadership has announced a “Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
In his letter Azad said “..However, unfortunately after the entry of Shri 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.”
Azad further alleged that all senior and experienced leaders were sidelined by Rahul Gandhi. “All senior and experienced leaders were sidelined and a new coterie of inexperienced sycophants started running the affairs of the Party. One of the most glaring examples of this immaturity was the tearing up of a government ordinance in the full glare of the media by Shri Rahul Gandhi. The said ordinance was incubated in the Congress Core Group and subsequently unanimously approved by the Union Cabinet presided over by the Prime Minister of India and duly approved even by the President of India. This ‘childish’ behaviour completely subverted the authority of the Prime Minister and Government of India. This 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,” Azad wrote.
Azad had been a leading member of the G-23 or the group of 23 “dissenters” who wrote to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 calling for a complete overhaul of the organization and had demanded a full-time and visible leadership.
His resignation from the Congress created a political storm in Jammu and Kashmir Friday as former ministers, G.M Saroori, R S Chib and four other party’s former legislators also tendered their resignation. The spree of resignations of Congress leaders has led the grand old party in disarray in the union territory.
As Azad ended his decades-old association with the party, leaders across the political spectrum praised his contribution to Jammu and Kashmir, with the BJP hailing him as a “towering leader”.
Azad’s resignation from the Congress marked the most high-profile exit of one of the (G-23) leaders who were lampooned by the party loyalists after their letter became public on August 24, 2020, has virtually disintegrated over the last two years with the resignations of Azad and Kapil Sibal, seen as the prime movers of the initiative, and others such as Shashi Tharoor, M Veerappa Moily and Mukul Wasnik making peace with the high-command.
Reliable sources told Kashmir Despatch that a number of other Congress leaders are likely to quit the party and join Azad besides his loyalists who are presently camped in New Delhi. Sources said that the Azad loyalists are deliberating over future course of action and a consensus is being evolved for formation of a political party in J&K in which many other veteran political leaders in J&K are being roped in to participate to give more weight to the new political formation.
Besides a former deputy chief minister, a senior leader who has been part of successive governments in J&K in the capacity of an independent is also in touch with Azad, sources revealed further. Sources further added that another former deputy chief minister Tara Chand, former MP Jugul Kishore and few second rank Congress leaders from North Kashmir are also likely to follow Azad and resign from the party.
“A new political party is likely to be established before the forthcoming assembly polls in J&K,” sources hinted.
Whole else resigned from J&K Congress:
Hours after Azad resigned from the party, a group of five senior leaders of J&K Congress including former ministers also resigned from the party.
A statement issued by the leaders to Kashmir Despatch reads, “Ex- Ministers of the dissolved assembly of Jammu and Kashmir hereby resign from all the positions holding in the Congress party and also resign from the primary membership of the party in support of Ghulam Nabi Azad.”
Those who resigned are: G.M.Saroori (Ex MLA/ Cabinet Minister, Ex Vice President J&K PCC, Haji Abdul Rashid (Ex MLA, MOS/ Vice President J&K PCC till resign, Mohammad Amin Bhat (Ex MLA/Ex MLC) Ex- State Youth President, Gulzar Ahmad Wani (Ex MLA) Distt President Anantnag till resign and Choudhary Mohammad Akram (EX MLA) and Chairman J&K ST cell till resign.
Meanwhile, senior leader and former Cabinet minister RS Chib also tendered his resignation from the basic membership of the party.
Quotable “Quotes” of G.N Azad
Ø Rahul Gandhi childish and immature
Ø Inexperienced sycophants running Congress
Ø All key decisions taken by Rahul Gandhi
Ø Rahul Gandhi insulted all senior leaders
Ø Congress presidential polls a sham
Ø Congress lost 2014 because of RaGa
Ø Before ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, go for ‘Congress Jodo’ yatra
Ø Situation in Congress has reached to point of no return
Ø Proxies being propped up to take over leadership
Who said what?
Omar Abdullah: “Long rumoured to be in the offing but a body blow to the Congress none the less. Perhaps the senior most leader to quit the party in recent times, his resignation letter makes for very painful reading. It’s sad, and quite scary, to see the grand old party of India implode.”
Farooq Abdullah: “At present, the Congress party is going through a difficult period and Ghulam Nabi Azad has not made a good decision by resigning from the party. However, this is Azad’s own decision and it is my prayer that Almighty grants him the opportunity to do good deeds.”
Ashwani Kumar: “Despite it (Azad’s resignation), the party refuses to change and that is why you see seniors leaders leave because they feel alienated, humiliated and insulted.”
Himanta Biswa Sharma: “If you read GN Azad’s letter and the letter I wrote in 2015, you will find a lot of similarities. In Congress everyone knows Rahul Gandhi is immature.”