Days after resigning from the Congress party, veteran politician and former Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said that the party needs medicines for treating its illness but it's being treated by compounders and not doctors.
In his attack on the Congress party, Azad further said that the party leadership is not interested in setting the organisation right. He also targeted Rahul Gandhi, who he had blasted in his resignation letter as childish and immature, and said that neither has the aptitude nor interest in politics.
Azad also said that he would not joing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and added that those claiming his ties with the BJP are playing into the saffron party's hands. He said joining BJP would not help his politics in J&K and that he would soon set up a new party there as assembly elections could be announced anytime. A close aide of Azad earlier said that the party would be set up within a fortnight in J&K.
Speaking to reporters at his residence, Azad alleged that the leadership being projected in the party in states is making party members leave instead of uniting them.
Delhi | Modi is an excuse, they have had an issue with me since the G23 letter was written. They never wanted anyone to write to them, question them... Several (Congress) meetings happened, but not even a single suggestion was taken: Ghulam Nabi Azad pic.twitter.com/gBIYPTx2IZ— ANI (@ANI) August 29, 2022
Azad said, "I can only give my best wishes to the Congress, but the Congress needs medicines more than my wishes. And, these medicines are being provided to the Congress by compounders instead of doctors and there is a need for specialists. The party leadership has no time for setting things right in the party. The Congress is giving such leaders in states and promoting those who are making people quit the organisation rather than uniting them with the party."
He said the party's foundation has turned very weak and the organisation can fall anytime and that is why he along with some leaders decided to quit it now.
"There are people who do clerical work in the Congress and do plants against leaders," said Azad in an apparent swiple at Congress leaders who are allegedly planting stories against him since his resignation. Gandhis' loyalists in Congress have launched a fierce offensive against Azad and have claimed that he is working at the behest of the BJP.
Azad said, "The BJP cannot help me in politics in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP has a separate constituency. Those spreading such misinformation are playing into BJP's hands and this is Congress propaganda against me."
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, Azad said, "It seems he does not have the aptitude for politics, as we tried to make him into a leader and made many efforts in this regard".
Azad also questioned the DNA of those who questioned him and accused those leaders in the Congress of conspiring and "planting news" against party leaders and thus weakening the organisation. Hitting back, the 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 stoop to his level," Congress general secretary communications Jairam Ramesh said on Twitter.
Azad alleged the Congress party is "sinking down" further everyday and people are quitting the organisation, as they are feeling so frustrated that they are looking an any small alternative.
"We will set up a small unit in Jammu and Kashmir soon," he said, when asked about his future prospects, clarifying that he has not chalked out his national-level plans yet which will be formulated in the coming days.
Azad also termed his resignation letter as only a "tip of the iceberg", indicating that he will continue to attack the organisation. He also alleged that 90 per cent leaders had left the party and only his group was left. He claimed that ex-MLAs and ministers have all come with him and five of the six Congress MLAs in J-K have also joined him, otherwise they would also have left and joined the BJP or others.
Azad had quit the Congress on Friday, ending his five-decade association with the party, terming it “comprehensively destroyed” and lashing out at Rahul for “demolishing” its entire consultative mechanism. He alleged that a coterie of sycophants was running the party and senior leaders were sidelined. In a letter addressed to party chief Sonia Gandhi, he called her a mere figurehead and alleged that even Rahul;s security guards and PAs take decisions.
The Congress, dealing with the fallout of a series of high profile exits, including that of Kapil Sibal and Ashwani Kumar, had attempted to deflect the latest blow by alleging that Azad’s DNA had been "Modi-fied".
Azad, whose resignation from all positions in the party, including its primary membership, comes ahead of crucial organisational elections, had accused the leadership of committing a “giant fraud" on the party in the name of "farce and sham" internal polls. In his scathing criticism of the leadership, particularly Rahul, Azad had termed him a "non-serious individual at the helm".
(With PTI inputs)