'Rahul Gandhi, His Security Guards Running Party': Ghulam Nabi Quits Congress

In a 5-page letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, Azad levelled several allegations against Rahul Gandhi.

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Launching a scathing attack on the Congress' central leadership, including party president Sonia Gandhi and its former chief Rahul Gandhi, senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, on Friday, 26 August, resigned from the party.

The move by the veteran politician, who has served in various top positions, including a Union minister and the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, comes amid his prolonged differences with the party's central leadership and the Gandhis.

Azad was part of a group of leaders known as the 'G-23', which had demanded reforms and changes in the party's leadership.

Later on Friday, Azad told news agency PTI that he will soon launch a new party, with its first unit in Jammu and Kashmir in view of impending polls.

Calling Sonia Gandhi a mere nominal figurehead, Azad claimed that all the important decisions were being made by Rahul Gandhi and his "security guards and PAs."

He called Rahul Gandhi "immature," referring to an instance of Gandhi tearing up a government ordinance in front of the media, and further said that his "childish" behavior undermined the authority of the prime minister.


'Sonia a Titular Head, Rahul Gandhi Taking All Decisions'

Training his guns at the party leadership, Azad in his resignation letter said, "Under your stewardship since 2014 and subsequently that of Rahul Gandhi, the INC has lost two Lok Sabha elections in a humiliating manner. It has lost 39 out of the 49 assembly elections held between 2014-2022."

"The party only won four state elections and was able to get into a coalition situation in six instances. Unfortunately, today, the INC is ruling in only two states and is a very marginal coalition partner in two other states," he said.

Azad said that the situation in the Congress party had only worsened since 2019. He said that Rahul Gandhi insulted all senior party functionaries who had given their lives to the party when he stepped down as party president, and that was when Sonia Gandhi took over as the interim president.

"I have spent every working moment of my adult life in the service of the Indian National Congress at the cost of my health and family," Azad said.

Azad alleged that since Rahul Gandhi entered politics and after he was appointed as the vice president of the party in January 2013, the consultative mechanism of the Congress party was shattered.

"All senior and experienced leaders were sidelined and a new coterie of inexperienced sycophants started running the affairs of the party," he added.


'Rahul Gandhi's Childish Behaviour Contributed to 2014 Defeat': Azad

Pointing at Rahul Gandhi's "immaturity," Azad said that the "childish behaviour" shown by him in instances such as when he tore up a government ordinance in front of the media, completely undermining the authority of the prime minister and the government, was a major contributing factor to the defeat of the UPA government.

He added that it was the UPA government that was "at the receiving end of a campaign of calumny and insituation from a combination of the forces of the right wing and certain unscrupulous corporate interests [sic]."

Azad's resignation comes as a jolt to the Congress that has recently seen a spree of resignations from key party leaders, including Jaiveer Shergill, Kapil Sibal, Ashwani Kumar, Hardik Patel, and Sunil Jhakhar.

Azad claimed that his recommendations to revive the party given ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were never taken seriously by the party leadership.


'Content of Letter Not Factual': Congress

Meanwhile, the Congress party reacted to the resignation and said that it was "saddening" that Azad has quit "when party is fighting against inflation and polarisation."

"Unfortunate, regrettable this happened when organisation is combating BJP on price rise, unemployment," the party said.

Further, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that the content of the letter "is not factual" and that the timing of Azad's resignation was awful.

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Topics:  Congress   Rahul Gandhi   Sonia Gandhi 

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