Finally, Ghulam Nabi Azad did it. After months of speculation and an open dissent with the Congress high command, the veteran leader on Friday morning, sent his resignation to party chief Sonia Gandhi. In effect, he has quit Congress and resigned from all its posts.
This comes days after Azad resigned as Campaign Committee chairman. He also called it quits as a member of the Political Affairs Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress, hours after his appointment.
Significantly, Azad heads the dissident G-23 and reports state that he was miffed because the Gandhis “ignored his nomination to the Upper House.” As an outgoing leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, he was not renominated to the Upper House.
A prominent member of the G23 grouping within Congress, he has been critical of the leadership. Azad has been seeking an organisational overhaul and at an impromptu press meet called in the capital, earlier today, stated: “The party should start a Congress Jodo yatra instead of the proposed Bharat Jodo yatra on September 7.”
Training guns at the party leadership, Azad in his resignation letter voiced: “Under your stewardship since 2014 and subsequently that of Shri Rahul Gandhi, the INC has lost two Lok Sabha elections in a humiliating manner. It has lost 39 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.
“Since the 2019 elections, the situation in the party has worsened. After Shri Rahul Gandhi stepped down in a ‘huff and not before insulting all the senior Party functionaries who have given their lives to the party in a meeting of the extended Working Committee,’ you took over as interim President. A position that you have continued to hold even today for the past three years,” the letter added.
His note letter accuses Sonia Gandhi of being a nominal figurehead while “all important decisions are taken by Shri Rahul Gandhi or worse, his security guards and PAs.”
The five-page letter ended: “It is therefore with great regret and an extremely leaden heart that I have decided to sever my half-a-century old association with Indian National Congress.”
The resignation comes at a time when the Congress internal elections are to be held. It remains to be seen if other G-23 members also call it quits.