'Once You Are In Congress, You Are Spineless', Says Ghulam Nabi Azad; Blames Rahul Gandhi For His Exit From The Party

Swarajya Staff

Apr 06, 2023, 09:39 AM | Updated 09:39 AM IST

Ghulam Nabi Azad (middle)
Ghulam Nabi Azad (middle)

Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has blamed Rahul Gandhi of for his departure from the party, saying that staying in the party requires one to be "spineless".

Azad also criticised the UPA II regime, stating that when the government brought an ordinance in 2013 to negate a Supreme Court order disqualifying convicted MPs and MLAs, then-prime minister Manmohan Singh should not have given in to Rahul's objection.

Azad, who was a minister at the time, called the UPA cabinet "weak" because they did not proceed despite Rahul's opposition.

Speaking after the launch of his autobiography "Azaad", the veteran leader clarified that he won't rejoin Congress.

Azad said that Rahul Gandhi is responsible for his and several other young and old leaders' exit from Congress.

Asked if Rahul is the reason why he is not in the Congress, Azad was quoted as saying by the PTI, “Yes. Not me alone, but at least a few dozen more, both young and old leaders…. Once you are in Congress, you are spineless…. you have to get operated.”

Further, Azad didn't completely rule out the possibility of working with BJP in Jammu and Kashmir after elections, saying nobody is "untouchable" in politics today.

Azad attributed Rahul's disqualification as MP to his opposition to the UPA government's Ordinance in 2013, stating that had he not opposed it, the disqualification would not have occurred.

According to Azad, the ordinance was introduced due to the possibility of other parties using it against them, as they may come into power.

"It was a weak cabinet and it should have gone ahead by bringing a law and should have stuck by its decision of bringing the law even after Rahul Gandhi dismissed it as nonsense and tore it,” he said, reports Indian Express.

Azad said that the Congress party's decision to stay silent during Rahul Gandhi's dismissing the ordinance was a mistake. "Rahul Gandhi would have been saved today through that only. The one who tore it, it got applied on him now. He should have realised it then…," Azad said.

On several senior Congress leaders accompanying Rahul Gandhi to the Surat Court, Azad alleged that they have to do that as there was a whip issued.

"Once you are in Congress, you are spineless," he said.

Azad, a Congress member for 50 years, also criticised some members of the party's leadership. “I am 2,000 per cent more Congressi than those who run (politics) on Twitter. I am 24-carat Congress by conviction, they are not even 18 carat," he said.

When asked if he wants to rejoin Congress, he replied that they only want people "who are fast on Twitter and are claiming that after Bharat Jodo Yatra the party will get 500 seats.”

When questioned if Sonia Gandhi contacted him to come back to Congress, he replied that if it was up to her, the situation would have been different. “Kaash agar Sonia Gandhi ke haath mein hota to hum yahan aate nahin (If it was in the hands of Sonia Gandhi, we would not have been here today)… Sonia Gandhi cannot decide," Azad said.

Congress leaders Anand Sharma & Janardhan Dwivedi, Opposition MPs & Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia attended the event.

Meanwhile, the Congress's media department head, Pawan Khera, criticised Azad, saying he was following an ideology which he had opposed for 50 years. Khera made the remarks while speaking to reporters at the AICC headquarters. Khera then alluded to the fact that Azad had been held in high regard by Congress workers, but his recent actions have revealed he is unworthy of their trust.

Khera said Azad now curses the party that once gave him so much.

"He has been asserting for the last two days that he is now Azaad (free), but he has actually become ghulam (slave),” Khera said.

Congress communication department head Jairam Ramesh stated that both Ghulam Nabi Azad and Jyotiraditya Scindia have greatly benefited from the Congress system and leadership, but continue to reveal their "true character" which they "kept hidden for so long".

Earlier in the day, Scindia accused Congress of lacking ideology and labeled them as traitors. “This Congress has been now left with only one ideology, which is of a traitor, an ideology which works against the country,” Scindia said.

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