‘Unfortunate that we have had to read this letter’: Politician leaders across party lines react to Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Congress exit

Veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad quit the Congress party and resigned from all his posts on Friday. In a strongly-worded letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, Azad said, “The entire organisational election process is a farce and a sham. At no place anywhere in the country have elections been held at any level of the organisation.” ‘Unfortunate that we have had to read this letter: Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Congress exit

In a five-page letter, he said ‘handpicked lieutenants of the AICC have been coerced to sign on lists prepared by the coterie that runs the AICC sitting in 24 Akbar Road’.

Congress leaders, party workers and politicians across party lines reacted to Azad’s exit from the party.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “At a time when every Congress man and woman is involved in ensuring the Bharat Jodo Yatra rally is a success, and every Congress man and woman wants to be a Bharat Yatri and walk with Rahul Gandhi on this 3500-km long yatra, it’s most unfortunate and regrettable that we have had to read this letter.”

Congress party reacting to the issue said, “Ghulam Nabi Azad was Congress’ senior leader, saddening that he quit when party fighting against inflation, polarisation.”

Azad, in his letter, wrote, “All senior and experienced leaders were sidelined and new coterie of inexperienced sycophants started running the affairs of the party.”

Former Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill who quit the party on Wednesday told news agency ANI, “In reality, this cabal is working within Congress on ‘Congress Todo Abhiyan’, elbowing out all the well-meaning leaders. This letter speaks loudly of sentiments of thousands of well-meaning Congress workers who are troubled by this ‘Darbari’ culture.”

Son of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Sandeep Dikshit, said that he felt betrayed after reading the letter. “When I read your letter of resignation, it gave me a sense of dismay and unfortunately, then a sense of betrayal. The Indian National Congress will be much weaker without Ghulam Nabi Azad, but the Ghulam Nabi Azad who authored the G 23 letter, not the Ghulam Nabi Azad who authored this resignation,” he wrote in a statement.

BJP leader Kuldeep Bishnoi said, “It won’t be wrong to say that Congress is in self-destruction, suicidal mode. I suggest Rahul Gandhi sets aside his ego…Ghulam Nabi Azad is welcome in BJP. If the party asks me, then I can persuade him to join the party.”

In his letter, Azad accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of demolishing “the entire consultative mechanism which existed earlier” after being appointed the vice-president of the party in 2013.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said that Azad’s resignation from Congress was a blow to the party and that it was sad and scary to see the party explode. Abdullah tweeted, “Long rumoured to be in the offing but a body blow to the Congress none the less. Perhaps the senior most leader to quit the party in recent times, his resignation letter makes for very painful reading. It’s sad, and quite scary, to see the grand old party of India implode.”

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