Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday said he was pained over the resignation of senior colleague Ghulam Nabi Azad, whom he said, the party gave everything, sending him to the Rajya Sabha five times besides making him a Union minister and also Jammu and Kashmir chief minister.
He said Mr Azad (73) resigned from the Congress at a time when party president Sonia Gandhi is undergoing medical treatment abroad.
The Rajya Sabha MP said Mr Azad, a prominent member of the ‘G23’ dissident group in the Congress, got so much from the party during his decades-long political career.
“I and Ghulam Nabi Azad entered politics at the same time. He lost the 1977 Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir and his deposit was forfeited. We are of the same age and have good relations and today we have. But I am pained over his decision.
“The party gave him everything, he was unable to win from J&K so he was fielded from Maharashtra (Azad was elected to the Lok Sabha from the state’s Washim seat in 1980s). Twice he was elected to the Lok Sabha and was given five terms in the Rajya Sabha, which means 30 years,” Mr Singh said in a statement.
Mr Azad on Friday ended his five-decade association with the Congress, terming it “comprehensively destroyed” and lashing out at former party president Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing” its entire consultative mechanism.
Mr Singh said Mr Azad’s decision to leave the Congress at a time when the party president is undergoing treatment abroad is painful.
“It was not expected from you,” remarked the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister.
Despite getting so much from the party, Mr Azad says he felt hurt when Rahul Gandhi tore an ordinance brought by the Congress-led UPA government in 2013, Mr Singh said.
The ordinance was brought by the UPA government to negate a Supreme Court ruling on disqualifying convicted MPs and MLAs.
“If you had so much problem (with Rahul Gandhi’s act) why did you become the Leader of Opposition in 2014 in the Rajya Sabha? Why did you not resign from the Cabinet that time? Stop these lame excuses…it appears you have established a cordial relationship with those who have abrogated Article 370 (that provided special status to J&K),” Mr Singh remarked.
Mr Singh also criticized Ghulam Nabi Azad for his remark calling for focusing on “Congress Jodo” instead of “Bharat Jodo.” “You have written (in the resignation letter) that there is a need to unite the Congress and not Bharat. Instead of uniting the Congress you are indulging in breaking the party and I strongly condemn it,” the former CM said.
The Congress has said its mass contact programme — the Bharat Jodo Yatra — would begin on September 7 from Kanyakumari and cover around 3,500 kilometres through a dozen states and two Union Territories before ending in Kashmir.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by LOKJANTA STAFF staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)