Senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from all his posts and the Congress party, on Friday. In a five-page letter, Azad wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi that the Congress has reached a point of “no return”. He called the entire organisational election process a “farce and a sham”. According to his letter, elections at any level of the organisation have never been held anywhere in the country. “Handpicked lieutenants of the AICC have been coerced to sign on lists prepared by the coterie that runs the AICC sitting in 24 Akbar Road,” he wrote. Azad said that Rahul Gandhi’s introduction into politics, particularly when he was named the party’s vice-president in 2013, “demolished the entire consultative mechanism which existed earlier”.
“All senior and experienced leaders were sidelined and new coterie of inexperienced sycophants started running the affairs of the party,” he said.
In his letter, he complained that the Congress had suffered two humiliating defeats in the Lok Sabha elections since Sonia Gandhi took office in 2014, followed by Rahul Gandhi. The party has lost 39 of the 49 assembly elections contested between 2014 and 2022. It has won only four state elections in the last eight years, and was successful in forming coalitions in the rest.
In his letter addressed to Sonia Gandhi, Azad wrote:
“Since the 2019 elections, the situation in the party has only worsened. After 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 to continue to hold even today for the past three years. Worse still, the ‘remote control model’ that demolished the institutional integrity of the UPA government now got applied to the Indian National Congress. While you are just a nominal figurehead, all the important decisions were being taken by Rahul Gandhi or rather worse his security guard’s and PA’s.
“In the August of 2020 when I and 22 other senior colleagues including former Union Ministers and Chief Ministers wrote to you to flag the abysmal drift in the party, the coterie chose to unleash its sycophants on us and got us attacked, vilified and humiliated in the most crude manner possible. In fact, on the directions of the coterie that runs the AICC today, my mock funeral procession was taken out in Jammu. Those who committed this indiscipline were feted in Delhi by the General Secretaries of the AICC and Rahul Gandhi personally. Subsequently, the same coterie unleashed its goondas to physically attack the residence of a former ministerial colleague Kapil Sibal, who incidentally was defending you and your kin in the courts of law for your alleged attacks of omission and commission.
“The only crime committed by the 23 senior leaders who wrote that letter out of concern for the party is that they pointed out both the reasons for the weaknesses in the party and the remedies thereof. Unfortunately, instead of taking those views on board in a constructive and cooperative manner, we were abused, humiliated, insulted and vilified in a specially summoned meeting of the extended CWC meeting.
“Unfortunately, the situation in the Congress party has reached such a point of no return that now proxies are being propped up to take over the leadership of the party. This experiment is doomed to fail because the party has been so comprehensively destroyed that situation has become irretrievable. Moreover, the chosen one would be nothing more than a puppet on a string.”
The leader also questioned why the Congress deserved this in the 75th year of India’s independence. Azad wrote in his letter that despite his years of service to the party, he had decided to end the half-century-long association with it, with “great regret and an extremely leaden heart”. The leader had resigned from his position as Jammu and Kashmir’s organisational party head last week, citing health problems.