Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who quit the party last week, said on Monday, 29 August, that he will not join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it will not help his politics in Jammu and Kashmir.
Azad added that he would soon set up a new party in Jammu and Kashmir as the Assembly elections could be announced anytime.
He also launched an attack against his former political party and said that the Congress Working Committee, the party’s decision-making body, is “meaningless” today.
Speaking to NDTV, Azad said, “The present CWC is meaningless. Under Sonia Gandhi, there was only the CWC. But in the last 10 years, there have been 25 CWC members and 50 special invitees.”
He also said that Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and Sonia Gandhi all believed in consultative politics to a large extent, “but that was destroyed under Rahul Gandhi.”
'Sonia Wanted Everyone to Coordinate With Rahul, He Had No Aptitude'
The former Union minister told NDTV, “Sonia Gandhi, let us be fair, between 1998 and 2004, was totally consulting senior leaders. She was depending on them, accepting recommendations. She gave me eight states, I won seven. She did not interfere.”
“But after Rahul Gandhi came, from 2004, Mrs Gandhi started depending more on him. He had no aptitude for doing that. She wanted everybody to coordinate with Rahul Gandhi,” Azad added.
Azad was part of a group of leaders, known as the 'G-23', which had demanded reforms and changes in the party's leadership.
Moreover, speaking to ANI, Azad said, "I didn't sleep for six days before and after writing the letter (G-23) because we gave our blood for the party. People there today are useless."
“Modi is an excuse, they have had an issue with me since the G-23 letter was written. They never wanted anyone to write to them, question them.”Former Congress Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad
“Several (Congress) meetings happened, but not even a single suggestion was taken,” he added.
He also said that the party needs medicines for treating it, which are being provided by compounders instead of doctors.
"I give my best wishes to the Congress, but the party needs medicines more than wishes. And, these medicines are being provided to the Congress by compounders instead of doctors," he told reporters.
Reacting to Azad's latest statements on Monday, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, "After such a long career, courtesy entirely the party he’s been tasked to slander, by giving interviews indiscriminately, Mr Azad diminishes himself further."
Ramesh added, "He can be easily exposed but why stoop to his level?"
Three More Congress Resignations
Meanwhile, three more Congress leaders, including former Deputy Speaker Ghulam Hyder Malik, announced their resignation from the party on Monday in support of Azad.
Malik, a former MLA from Kathua's Bani assembly constituency, and two former MLCs – Subash Gupta from Kathua and Sham Lal Bhagat from Doda – separately forwarded their resignation letters to the party high command.
“We have received the letters (of support) from Malik, Gupta and Bhagat,” Azad's close aide and former minister GM Saroori said.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, former ministers Abdul Majid Wani, Manohal Lal Sharma, and Gharu Ram, and former MLA Balwan Singh also met Azad in Delhi and are likely to announce their loyalty to him on Tuesday after resigning from the Congress, a PTI source said.
Over a dozen prominent Congress leaders, including former ministers and legislators have already left the Congress to join Azad.
Ghulam Nabi Azad's Resignation From the Congress
Azad's move to quit the Congress on Friday, 26 August, came amid his prolonged differences with the party's central leadership and the Gandhis.
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.
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.
(With inputs from PTI and NDTV.)
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