‘Forced to leave my home…’: Ghulam Nabi Azad on his exit from Congress
A Congress loyalist for over five decades and a member of the 'G-23' - the group of dissident senior leaders urging an internal overhaul, Azad resigned from the party with a letter to Sonia Gandhi and criticised Rahul Gandhi for 'demolishing' existing 'consultative mechanisms'.
Ex Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad - whose exit last week added to the party's woes before the 2024 election - said Monday he was 'forced to leave home'. He also clarified that he had no intention of joining the Bharatiya Janata Party - something many senior Congress leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sunil Jakkar, have done in the recent past.
Asked if he would, instead, form his own political party - something close aide GM Saroori said Sunday - the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister would only say, "Congress mein anpadon ki jamaat hai (Congress is full of illiterate people)... but those who know J&K know I can't increase even one vote (for the BJP)."
“I have been forced to leave my home,” he said.
A Congress loyalist for over five decades and a member of the 'G-23' - the group of senior leaders urging an internal overhaul - within the party, Azad wrote to interim chief Sonia Gandhi and criticised Rahul Gandhi for 'demolishing' existing 'consultative mechanisms'.
"Several (Congress) meetings happened, but not even a single suggestion was taken," Azad told reporters on Monday.
Azad also criticised Rahul Gandhi for sidelining senior and experienced leaders after his appointment (as party boss and since, despite his resignation in 2019) and said 'a new coterie of inexperienced sycophants started running the affairs of the party'.
He also criticised Sonia Gandhi, calling her a figurehead and claiming major decisions were taken either by her son or '...his security guards and personal assistants...'
Azad's exit triggered more resignations from the Congress, including a Telangana leader; MLA MA Khan claimed 'he (Rahul Gandhi) doesn't know how to behave with senior members'.
On the question of Azad forming his own party, Saroori told Hindustan Times, "He (Azad) is going to be the chief minister face of the new party for J&K... going to form the national party in 20 days. It’s going to be a secular party, which is our ideology..."
Meanwhile, the Congress' Working Committee (the party's highest decision-making body) met Sunday and said elections for a new (permanent) president would be held October 17.