‘Congress has turned weak, can fall anytime’

Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks to the media on his resignation from the party and his further future plans, at his residence, in New Delhi on Monday.
Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks to the media on his resignation from the party and his further future plans, at his residence, in New Delhi on Monday.ANI

New Delhi: In a fresh attack on the Congress, former leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Monday said the "ailing" party needs medicines which are being provided by compounders instead of doctors.

Days after quitting the party, he claimed its foundation has turned very weak and the organisation can fall anytime but the Congress leadership doesn't have the time to set things right.

The former Congress leader also alleged that Rahul Gandhi does not have the aptitude or interest in politics.

Speaking to reporters at his residence, Azad claimed that the leadership being projected in states is making party members leave instead of uniting them.

Asserting that he belonged to the Congress ideology and never wanted to quit the organisation with which he grew from his student days, Azad claimed that he was "forced out" of the party.

He stressed that he will not join the BJP as it will not help his politics in Jammu and Kashmir. The former Congress leader said that he would soon set up a new party in Jammu and Kashmir as the assembly elections could be announced anytime.

"I can only give my best wishes to the Congress, but it needs medicines more than my wishes. And, these medicines are being provided by compounders instead of doctors and there is a need for specialists," Azad told reporters.

"The leadership has no time for setting things right in the party. The Congress is providing such leaders in states and promoting those who are making people quit rather than uniting them with the party," he alleged.

The party's foundation has turned very weak and the organisation can fall anytime, Azad claimed while citing it as a reason why he and some leaders quit the Congress now.

"There are people who do clerical work in the Congress and do plants against leaders," he said while attacking those who have attacked him in the organisation. "I have been forced to leave my home as we were not heard within."

Azad took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi, saying it was the former Congress chief who hugged Modi in Parliament and thus it was he who was "entangled" with the prime minister.

"The BJP cannot help me in politics in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP has a separate constituency. Those spreading such misinformation are playing into the BJP's hands and this is Congress propaganda against me," he claimed.

On post-poll alliance, Azad said there are other parties also and the new organisation can align with them too.

Continuing his attack on Rahul Gandhi, he said, "It seems he does not have the aptitude for politics. We tried to make him a leader and made many efforts in this regard."

Azad also said he used to think Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a "crude man" as he had no children but he displayed humanity while recalling a terror-related incident during his speech in Rajya Sabha when he turned emotional.

Recalling Modi in tears in the Rajya Sabha during the former Congress MP's farewell, he said the prime minister broke down on remembering the tragic incident and not for each other.

But that speech during his retirement was given a different twist by some "illiterate" Congressmen, Azad claimed. "One should understand the context of Modi's speech. He did not speak about me, he was talking about an incident."

Azad said Modi is merely an excuse and they were riling ever since he and 22 other Congressmen wrote to Sonia Gandhi in August 2020. After that letter, there have been many meetings, and "we put forth our views before Sonia Gandhi but none of our suggestions was implemented".

He also questioned the DNA of those who put question marks on him and accused those leaders in the Congress of conspiring and "planting news" against party leaders and thus weakening the organisation.

Hitting back, Congress accused Azad of indulging in "treachery" and said he was "diminishing himself" further.

"After such a long career, courtesy entirely the party, he's been tasked to slander by giving interviews indiscriminately. Mr Azad diminishes himself further.

"What's he afraid of that he's justifying his treachery every minute? He can be easily exposed but why to stoop to his level," Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh tweeted.

Azad alleged that Congress is "sinking" further every day and people are quitting the organisation, as they are feeling so frustrated that they are looking for any small alternative.

"We will set up a small unit in Jammu and Kashmir soon," the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister replied to a question on his prospects. He, however, clarified that he has not chalked out his national-level plans yet which will be formulated in the coming days.

Terming his resignation letter only a "tip of the iceberg", Azad indicated that he will continue to attack the organisation.

Azad also said that he did not sleep for six days before and after writing the G-23 letter because "we gave blood for the party" but it is "saddening to see that people in the Congress are useless that they do not know about us".

Azad was a CWC member and part of the group of 23 dissident leaders who had written to Sonia Gandhi in August 2020 seeking large-scale reforms and an organisational overhaul, including elections at all levels.

He said his respect for Sonia Gandhi is the same as was 30 years ago and it is the same for Rahul Gandhi since he belongs to the family of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

Ninety percent of leaders had left the party and only his group was left, Azad claimed, adding ex-MLAs and former ministers have all come with him, otherwise they would also have left and joined the BJP or others.

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