On 26/8/2022 Ghulam Nabi Azad quit Congress. His letter to Sonia Gandhi was long. He mentioned his long association with Congress and the posts he held beginning with Block Secretary General in 1973. He was a minister in Congress governments from 1982 to 2014. He was Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha for seven years.
Then he mentioned his reasons for quitting Congress. While Sonia Gandhi is the nominal figurehead, all important decisions were taken by Rahul Gandhi or rather, worse, his security guards and PAs. He and 22 other leaders, known as G23, had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi in August 2020 about the drift in the party. They were attacked, vilified and humiliated. Organisation elections in Congress are a sham.
It is Azad’s criticism of Rahul Gandhi that made news. Many had left Congress in recent days but there was no public criticism of Rahul Gandhi. There were many reactions to Azad’s letter. Jairam Ramesh wrote GNA’s DNA is modi-fied. Pawan Khera said Azad became restless as soon as his Rajya Sabha term got over and he can not remain without a post even for a second. Former Congress member and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said Congress under current leadership is doomed beyond redemption.
Azad’s letter came when Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka are abroad for Sonia Gandhi’s treatment. Earlier on 16/8/2022 Congress had appointed Azad J&K campaign panel chief and he had declined to accept the post.
In recent years many have quit Congress. Some were considered close to Rahul Gandhi. Jitin Prasada, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh joined BJP. Kapil Sibal became independent and won Rajya Sabha election with the support of SP. Jaiveer Shergill was a national spokesperson. He was unable to meet any Gandhi for more than a year.
Congress rules Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh on its own and is part of governments in Bihar and Jharkhand. Its presence has diminished in various states. Rahul Gandhi quit as Congress President in 2019 and has refused to be back as President. Election of Congress President is supposed to take place by 21/9/2022. Some leaders who were part of G23 have quit. There is talk of making Ashok Gehlot President. It seems he is not willing. He wants to remain Rajasthan CM. Rahul Gandhi has exercised power without being President. He does not want any Gandhi to be Congress President. Priyanka Gandhi is also unwilling. She led election campaign in UP and it was a disaster. Congress won 2 out of 403 seats.