Cong leaders say Azad tried to harm party, hint at ties with those scrapping Article 370
In his five-page resignation letter to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad blamed former party chief Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing” the “consultative mechanism” of the unit.
Several Congress leaders across posts and states have come down heavily on Ghulam Nabi Azad after he resigned from all roles in the party and sent a five-page note to interim president Sonia Gandhi, lashing out at MP and her son Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing” the organisation.
Among those taking on the veteran politician for writing an explosive resignation letter was Chhattisgarh chief minister and Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel. He said Azad had “constantly tried to harm” the Congress, while adding Azad’s resignation will not harm the grand old party.
“The Congress has given him full respect, made him cabinet minister and chief minsiter. His exit will cause no loss to the party,” Baghel told reporters on Friday.
Earlier in the day, another Congress veteran Jairam Ramesh attacked Azad for his blazing resignation letter. Taking to Twitter, the party’s chief spokesperson said Azad revealed his true colours by betraying the Congress leadership with his “vicious attacks”.
“GNA'S DNA has been Modi-fied,” Ramesh further wrote in the post in an apparent reference to Azad’s cordial ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Congress’ Digvijaya Singh Azad may now have developed ties with people who had scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Kashmir. The Article was revoked by the Modi government in 2019.
“The Congress gave him everything. He says he was hurt when Rahul Gandhi tore an ordinance in 2013. If you had an objection, why did you accept the post of Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition in 2014? Stop these excuses. Maybe you now have relations with people who scrapped Article 370,” Singh was quoted as saying by ANI.
Other leaders such as Azad's fellow G23 (group of 23 Congress leaders who had written to Sonia Gandhi seeking organisational reforms) colleagues Anand Sharma and Sandeep Dikshit expressed shock over the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister's exit. Sharma said the situation was “entirely avoidable” while Dikshit said Azad’s decision hit him with a “sense of dismay and betrayal”.
Also Read | Ghulam Nabi Azad’s hint on next political move after Congress exit
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said Azad's words were “inappropriate” and beyond his “comprehension”.
In his letter to the Congress chief, Azad called Rahul immature and blamed him for “demolishing” the “consultative mechanism” of the grand old party. He further said that Rahul quit as the Congress president in a “huff” but not before insulting senior and experienced party leaders, who have given “all their lives” to the party.
Congress veteran Salman Khulshid said Rahul Gandhi is their “leader and will remain so”, while adding party leaders do not share a “give-and-take” relationship with the Wayanad MP.
"It is our duty to do something for the party. It is not mature that people who were associated wth the party for a long time leave over such a small thing," Khurshid said.
Following Azad's exit, six more Congress members from J&K quit the party to back his decision. They include GM Saroori, RS Chib, Choudhary Akram, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Gulzar Ahmad Wani, Haji Abdul Rashid. There are talks that Azad may form a new outfit.