Time to enforce discipline, say Congress leaders in Uttar Pradesh after Ghulam Nabi Azad’s exit

By, Lucknow
Aug 28, 2022 12:02 AM IST

Congress should have expelled leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad instead of waiting for them to quit, say the party’s Uttar Pradesh leaders

Instead of waiting for the exit of Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, the party should have expelled them, said leaders of the state unit on Saturday. Their stance comes a day after Azad, who twice worked as All India Congress General Secretary incharge of Uttar Pradesh, quit the party.

Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad meeting Jammu and Kashmir leaders, who resigned from the party after him, in New Delhi on Saturday. (ANI PHOTO)
Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad meeting Jammu and Kashmir leaders, who resigned from the party after him, in New Delhi on Saturday. (ANI PHOTO)

“The Congress should not wait for the exit of leaders like Azad. A number of them, including Jitin Prasada and RPN Singh, have left the Congress. Instead of waiting for their exit, the Congress should have expelled them. It is high time discipline is enforced in the party,” said former Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Nirmal Khatri.

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Other leaders who have left the Congress in recent years include two former Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) presidents Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Jagdambika Pal.

Khatri had criticised the Congress in a post on Facebook, too, earlier on August 20, 2020 and demanded his expulsion when Azad along with other “Group of 23” leaders wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi asking for a full-time, effective, “active” and “visible” party president.

Khatri said Azad has been pursuing BJP’s politics for long.

“TV channel said –“Ghulam Nabi has become free after leaving the Congress”. We said Congress became free after Ghulam left the party. Ghulam should have been expelled from the party earlier. When he got Padam Bhushan by the Modi government, it was the beginning of his BJP’s politics,” said Khatri in a tweet on Friday.

A number of other party leaders, too, echoed the same sentiments. Khatri also blamed Azad for “imposing” alliances on the state party whenever he was appointed AICC general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh.

“Yes, Ghulam Nabi Azad favoured and imposed alliances on the party in Uttar Pradesh. He was appointed Congress general secretary (in charge of U.P.) twice and he forced an alliance on the Congress on both the occasions. It was at his behest that the Congress entered into an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party in the 1996 assembly elections. He forced an alliance with the Samajwadi Party in 2017,” said Khatri.

He also said, “Ghulam Nabi Azad was never an asset to the Congress. He proved to be a burden. His ideas have not strengthened the Congress. He got prominence in the party only because he came from Jammu and Kashmir that has remained an important issue. He had nearly zero base among the Muslims.”

“Azad’s exit move is a betrayal. He never worked to strengthen the Congress and instead favoured alliances. He did so twice as AICC general secretary incharge for UP,” said UPCC media coordinator Ashok Singh.

Congress spokesman Surendra Rajput said Azad had left the Congress when the party was stepping up its fight against communalism.

Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ said Azad had a very long association with the Congress and his exit was sad and unfortunate.

“Ghulam Nabi Azad got all the important posts. He occupied posts of a chief minister (Jammu and Kashmir), Union minister, MP, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and held various organisational responsibilities. This is sad and surprising that he left without any reason,” she said.


    Umesh Raghuvanshi is a journalist with over three decade experience. He covers politics, finance, environment and social issues. He has covered all assembly and parliament elections in Uttar Pradesh since 1984.

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