Rahul to blame for Congress’ present situation, Sonia’s writ runs no longer in party: Azad

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) In a major revelation, former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday termed Rahul Gandhi the main reason why he was no longer with the party.
Speaking after the launch of his memoirs “Azaad: An Autobiography”, Azad, a former Union Minister and J&K Chief Minister, lauded former party President Sonia Gandhi for working hard to strengthen the party and quipped that if Rahul Gandhi had even accomplished a “150th part” of this, then the party’s current fortunes would have been much better.
He stressed that a political party cannot run according to the whims of its leader, as he noted that he had worked with all the Prime Ministers of the Congress from Indira Gandhi to Manmohan Singh.
Azad also stressed that the Union Cabinet, under Manmohan Singh, in 2013, should have stuck to its stand on the ordinance reversing the Supreme Court order on the automatic disqualification of a convicted lawmaker – which had been withdrawn after Rahul Gandhi had famously torn it up at a press conference, adding that the measure was still in place, he would have not been disqualified as an MP.
In a dig at Rahul Gandhi, he termed him the architect of his own misfortune.
Asked if Rahul Gandhi was the reason that he was no longer part of the Congress, with which he had spent almost all his political career before leaving last year and floating his own party, Azad candidly agreed.
He added that Sonia Gandhi’s writ still ran in the party, he would have never parted ways with it.
Azad also claimed that new Congress chief MallikarjunKharge was not capable of taking any major decision on his own.
The veteran leader, who was part of the G-23 leaders that had written to Sonia Gandhi seeking widespread reforms in the party, including elections to the Congress Working Committee – its highest decision-making authority, said that he was against the party’s “nomination culture”.
He said that he had often raised the demand for holding elections to the CWC as well as block, district, and state-level units. These elections were held earlier, from the time of Indira Gandhi to P.V. Narasimha Rao.
Azad, who had praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his book, said that he was impressed by how Modi had treated him despite all their political clashes. Citing his time as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, he said that he had attacked the Prime Minister on various issues like the abrogation of Article 370, CAA, and the hijab issue, but Modi never resented it.
On a possible linkup between his Democratic Azad Party and the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, he avoided giving a direct anser, saying there were not permanent friends or enemies in politics.
He said that he was not the leader of a regional party but always championed a national agenda.

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