Ghulam Nabi Azad resigns from Congress
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has resigned from all positions and the primary membership of the Congress Image Credit: Gulf News

Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader today quit from all positions of the party including its primary membership squarely blaming Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing the entire consultative structure of the party and allowing his inexperienced sycophants to run the party”.

This forms part of his long resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi, interim Congress president. Azad is now one in a long queue of Congress leaders making for the exit and blaming Rahul Gandhi, under whose leadership the Congress has lost two general elections on the trot.

The roll call of the leaders who have quit the party include Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Assam, Jyotiraditya Scindia (close associate of Gandhi), Jitin Prasada, Kapil Sibal, R P N Singh, Amarinder Singh, Sushmita Deb. All of these leaders have been unanimous about the lack of leadership and accountability of Gandhi who continues to call the shots in the party, hiding behind mother Gandhi.

For all practical purposes Gandhi is the president but, mysteriously refuses to take the office allowing the Congress to be excavated of its top mass leadership. Gandhi only fails upwards, holding no responsibility for the existential crisis that has gripped the Congress from 2014.

Azad, a former Union minister, quit the party today calling out Rahul Gandhi for "immaturity" and for "demolishing the consultative mechanism" in the party Image Credit: ANI

Azad in his scathing letter of resignation recollected his long association with the Congress and also cited Gandhi’s tearing up of an ordinance issued by the Manmohan Singh government as one the acts that took away the respect for the UPA government.

What started as a trickle with Sarma quitting, saying Gandhi paid more attention to his dog than the leader during a long delayed meeting, is now a deluge with Congress leaders rushing to the exit if they find any takers in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the regional parties.

Predictably the Gandhi family, including Priyanka Gandhi, who also calls the shots in the Gandhi-heavy party is abroad. Sonia Gandhi for medical treatment and her two children accompanying her. This week another young leader Jaiveer Shergill quit the Congress again blaming the leadership, saying he had been unable to get an appointment with the Gandhi trinity for a year.

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'Forget about leadership'

Organisational elections, which were supposed to be kick-started this month, to culminate in finding a new president were postponed this week because of “adverse astrological timing”. A senior Congress leader speaking to Gulf News asked bitingly, “could the timing be any worse for the Congress? We have general elections in two years and Rahul Gandhi can’t make up his mind if the BJP is the enemy or is it the senior Congress leadership. The party has never been as low as it now. Gandhi provides no intellectual or ideological clarity to us at all, forget about leadership”.

Anand Sharma, another top Congress leader, has also gone public about being insulted and excluded and said he would not associate with the Congress campaign in his home state of Himachal Pradesh.

Gandhi has had a underwhelming political career, even losing his own pocket borough constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. Two general elections have seen the Congress party reduced to double digits, not even having the numbers to count for leader of the opposition official post.

Gandhi has lost so many state elections to count and senior opposition leaders including Sharad Pawar of the NCP and Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal neither respect Gandhi nor get along with him. Gandhi is actually a block for the opposition to unite as his prime ministerial ambitions are considered a joke by the entire opposition.

Gandhi, as the opposition face for PM, against two-term PM, Narendra Modi suits the BJP as many pollsters say he is a dream opponent to defeat. Despite, repeated attempts to relaunch brand Rahul, India remains cold to him.

Earlier. the two Gandhi siblings had forced out former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, from the party.

With elections upcoming in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress is widely expected to lose, more damage will follow. Meanwhile, another crisis brews in Rajasthan, one of the only states held by the Congress where Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister is fighting with Sachin Pilot who wants the job.

Another top leader is expected to quit soon. Watch this space.