Congress has reached a point of no return: 10 big takeaways from Ghulam Nabi Azad’s explosive letter to Sonia Gandhi

Alleging humiliation and neglect by a new “coterie” of sycophants, Azad blamed Rahul’s “childish behaviour” for “demolishing the consultative mechanism” within the party.

Ghulam Nabi Azad Resignation | Ghulam Nabi Azad Quits Congress | Ghulam Nabi Azad Resigned Today |
Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned today, blaming Rahul Gandhi for the Congress's defeat (PTI)

In a five-page scathing resignation letter addressed to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday announced his resignation from the party’s primary membership, thus ending his five-decades-old association with the Grand Old Party. In his scathing letter, Azad was unsparing in his criticism of Rahul Gandhi ever suince he was appointed as the vice-president of the party in 2013. Alleging humiliation and neglect by a new “coterie” of sycophants, Azad blamed Rahul’s “childish behaviour” for “demolishing the consultative mechanism” within the party.

ALSO READ| Ghulam Nabi Azad quits Congress, blames Rahul Gandhi in hard-hitting letter

Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and a party veteran of several decades, on Friday resigned from the primary membership of the Congress party. According to news agency ANI, Azad stepped down from all party posts before relinquishing the primary membership of the party he has served for over 60 years.

In a hard-hitting five-page resignation letter addressed to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Azad has named Rahul Gandhi as one of the main reasons behind his decision to quit the party. In his letter, Azad wrote that after Rahul Gandhi was appointed vice president of the party (January 2013), “the entire consultative mechanism that existed earlier was demolished,” making way for “sycophants” and sidelining senior leaders. Azad also blamed Rahul Gandhi for the 2014 Lok Sabha debacle. In his letter, Azad has pointed out that the situation within the party took a turn for the worst after the 2019 General Elections, when Rahul Gandhi stepped down after “insulting” party’s senior leaders. Azad also slammed the “remote control model” and said that while Sonia Gandhi was the interim president. “all important decisions were being taken by Rahul Gandhi or rather worse his security guards and PAs.”

In the scathing letter, while blaming the “childish behaviour of Rahul Gandhi,” Azad called “the entire organizational election process is a farce and a sham.” Azad further told Sonia Gandhi that instead of holding a ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra,” she should rather focus on “Congress Jodo.”

ALSO READ| ‘Miffed’ Ghulam Nabi Azad resigns from key roles in Kashmir Congress hours after appointment

Here are the 10 big takeaways from Azad’s damning letter:

Recommendations never implemented 

Azad said that since Sonia Gandhi took over the reins of the party, nearly 25 years back, there were three brainstorming sessions that were held of which he was chairing the working group on Organisational Affairs on all three occasions. He stated that none of the recommendations from these retreats were implemented. He also said that none of the recommendations that were given by him and other senior leaders to “revitalise the party” ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections have not been implemented till date.

Sonia Gandhi a nominal figurehead

 Azad noted that since Congress’ humiliating loss in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the “situation in the party has only worsened.” Azad called party chief Sonia Gandhi “a nominal figurehead” as all the key decisions were taken by Rahul Gandhi “or rather worse his security guards and PAs.”

Attacked, vilified and humiliated 

Azad pointed out that he, along with 22 leaders of the party, had brought to Sonia’s attention that the rift within the party has widened due to the “coterie” unleashing “its sycophants on us and got us attacked, vilified and humiliated in the most crude manner possible.” He further alleged that the coterie had taken out his “mock funeral procession” in Jammu on Friday. Instead of taking any action, Azad said that the perpetrators “were feted in Delhi by the General Secretaries of the AICC and Shri Rahul Gandhi personally.”

Rahul destroyed consultative mechanism in Congress  

Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, Azad mentioned in his letter that things took a turn for the worse when Rahul was appointed as the Vice President by Sonia back in 2013. Azad alleged that Rahul had destroyed the “entire consultative mechanism” in the party that was in place before he had entered politics. “All senior and experienced leaders were sidelined and a new coterie of inexperienced sycophants started running the affairs of the party,” he wrote.

Congress lost because of Rahul’s “childish behaviour”

Azad said that the prime example of Rahul’s “immaturity” was in display when he had tore a government ordinance in public. Saying that the ordinance, which was signed by the President after following the due constitutional process, was torn apart in front of the media, thus, signifying a lack of respect for the authority. He blames Rahul’s “childish behaviour” as one of the primary reasons for Congress losing power at the Centre back in 2014.

Congress election process a sham 

Azad said the “entire organisational election process is a farce and a sham. He said that no elections are held at any key organisational posts anywhere in the country, stating that the top posts were being determined by a select few. “The AICC leadership is squarely responsible for perpetrating a giant fraud on the party to perpetuate it to hold on the ruins of what once was a national movement that fought for and attained the Independence of India,” he wrote.

Congress Jodo before Bharat Jodo

 Saying that he has lost all hope as the Congress is lacking in both will and ability, Azad asked Sonia Gandhi to direct the party leadership to initiate a ‘Congress Jodo exercise’ before the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra.’

Point of no return

Azad said that the situation in Congress has reached a “point of no return”, so much so that ‘proxies’ were being “propped up to take over the leadership of the patrty. The reference, apparently, was to news reports of the Congress president reaching out to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to take over the job of president before she heads abroad for treatment. “This experiment is doomed to fail because the party has been so comprehensively destroyed that situation has become irretrievable,” Azad wrote, adding that the ‘chosen one’ will be nothing more than a “puppet on a string”.

Non-serious individual at helm of party

Azad rued how the Congress had conceded the political space to the BJP and regional parties at the national and regional levels, respectively. “This all happened because the leadership in the past eight years has tried to foist a non-serious individual at the helm of the party,” Azad wrote.

Congress lost 39 of 49 assembly elections since 2014

Attacking the leadership, Azad recalled how the party, under the leadership of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi faced humiliating defeats in two Lok Sabha elections and the situation only went from bad to worse. The party lost 39 of 49 assembly elections held between 2014 and 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,” Azad wrote.

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First published on: 26-08-2022 at 14:14 IST