5 Points On Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress Veteran-Turned-Rebel Who Quit

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Last week, Mr Azad had resigned from the organisational post of Jammu and Kashmir citing health issues.

New Delhi:
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress veteran and part of the G-23 dissident group, today quit the party calling out Rahul Gandhi for “immaturity” and for “demolishing the consultative mechanism” in the party.

Here’s your 5-point guide on the former Congress veteran:

  1. Ghulam Nabi Azad joined Congress in the 1970s under Sonia Gandhi and worked closely with Sanjay Gandhi. He was upset over senior leaders being sidelined after Rahul Gandhi assumed a greater role in the grand old party. His critics, though, argue that Mr Azad enjoyed a lot of power and held top party posts without having any mass base and got upset when denied continued access to privilege.

  2. A former Union Minister, Mr Azad also served eight terms in the Rajya Sabha and retired from the Upper House in March. He was not renominated by the Congress, which is being seen as the last straw before his big decision to leave the party he served for five decades.

  3. Mr Azad is also a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been undergoing tumultuous changes in its political landscape. He has several loyalists in the party still, and a rebellion in the unit of the party led by him in the erstwhile state could do damage to its prospects. 

  4. The Narendra Modi government conferring the Padma Bhushan on Ghulam Nabi Azad earlier this year and the PM himself giving an emotional speech on his farewell from the Upper House had exposed a deep divide within the party. “It feels good when the country or the government recognises someone’s work,” Mr Azad had said then, in an apparent swipe at his own party.

  5. Last week, Mr Azad, who served as the Leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha until February 2021, had also resigned from the organisational post of Jammu and Kashmir citing health issues.

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