Ghulam Nabi Azad receiving Padma Award

Photo credit Twitter Ghulam Nabi Azad

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, August 26: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday quit the party, claiming that the leadership is surrounded by sycophants.

His resignation wasn’t shocking or stunning, for Azad had developed visible soft corner for the Bharatiya Janata Party long ago. In March this year, Azad was honoured with Padma Bhushan Award for his role in the public affairs.

His farewell in the Rajya Sabha was marked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tearful speech. Azad had also fought off his tears. This episode took place a month before he was given the Padma Award.

On Friday, Azad released his five-page resignation letter, which was auto-biographical reflections on his political career in the Congress.

“I am happy to state that the Congress won 90 per cent of the states that was in-charge from time to time,” Azad wrote in the letter.

The veteran Congress leader, who was part of the G23 of the party, squarely blamed the party’s former chief Rahul Gandhi for his decision to quit the organisation.

“…after the entry of Shri Rahul Gandhi into politics and particularly after January, 2013 when he was appointed the party’s vice president by you, the entire consultative mechanism which existed earlier was demolished by him,” Azad said in his letter to the party’s working president Sonia Gandhi.

Azad joined a number of the Congress leaders who have quit the party in the recent times, which included the likes of Kapil Sibbal, RPN Singh, etc.

But the Congress leaders were livid at him, with the party leader Sandeep Dikshit shooting off a letter to claim that the Azad who wrote the G23 letter was one for reform in the party and not the same Azad who wrote the resignation letter.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took potshot at Azad, saying “for 42 years he was never without a post”.

“A man who has been treated by the greatest of respect by the Congress leadership has betrayed it by his vicious personal attacks which reveals his true character. GNA’s DNA has been Modi-fied,” tweeted Jairam Ramesh, the communication department head of the party.

Mohan Kumarmangalam, a Congress leader, sought to counter Azad’s claims of 90 per cent victory record in states under his charge, saying that the veteran party leaders had blundered in 2006 and 2011 in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

Indeed, sycophancy is a universal ailment in the Indian politics, and the Congress wasn’t afflicted of this disease in 2022 only.

Jammu and Kashmir is heading for Assembly elections sooner, as the electoral roll is being given final touches, and the Delimitation Commission has submitted its report, calling for creation of an additional Lok Sabha seat by merging areas of Jammu and Kashmir.

The BJP and Azad need each other in the J&K elections.

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