I am a 24-carat Congressman while others 18-carat:  Ghulam Nabi Azad


Former Congress leader and Democratic Progressive Azad Party president Ghulam Nabi Azad’s autobiography ‘Azaad’ was released here on Wednesday by Dr Karan Singh. The autobiography provides insights into the significant political changes that the nation underwent over five decades. It narrates an intriguing accounts of his interactions with a number of political leaders, including Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The veteran politician Azad accepts that though he had great respect for Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, he had differences with Rahul Gandhi. When asked whether he will join Congress if Sonia Gandhi calls him, the veteran leaders said that no question arises as she is powerless in the party. And if Rahul Gandhi calls him, he said that “it is too late.” About other Congress leaders running the party in social media, he said that they are 18-carat Congressman while he is a 24-carat Congressman.  He further says that as an individual, he does not find Rahul Gandhi a bad person but on political issues, he had some certain differences with him as long as he was in the Congress. “I am no body to tell him him what is right and wrong for him”, the veteran politician revealed during the launch of his autobiography.
«I can only wish him well both health wise and politically. It is for him to explore. I only wish he is a good swimmer and he knows how to navigate the rough waters. Politics is an art of navigating in rough sea. Even the best captains, if they don›t have the experience…can doom the entire ship,» Azad said.
Rahul Gandhi might not be holding any post as of now but everyone knows that he is the «captain of the ship (Congress).
“If Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge wants a Congress Working Committee tomorrow in Bengaluru, nobody will go and in this context, I will extend my wishes to him to run the show”, he said. He further says that it is for him to find whether he is a good navigator or bad navigator. His autobiography highlights several instances where he had sharp differences with Rahul Gandhi, especially after 23 Congress leaders in August 2020 had written to the then party president Sonia Gandhi.
«I guess it was beginning of the end as the leadership instead of taking this letter as a wake-up call, and strengthening the organisation and holding party elections on the lines we had suggested, both Rahul and Sonia ji took offence and viewed it as a challenge to their authority,» Azad said, adding that instead of heeding to the suggestions, the G-23 was snubbed as being pro-BJP.
«I still wonde, if we were pro-BJP, why would we suggest strengthening the organisation? Rather, we would simply let things continue as they were and make the dream of a ‹Congress-mukt Bharat (Congress-free India)›, which the current leadership (BJP) seems to have embarked upon, come true,» he said, adding that «writing a letter to strengthen the same (Congress) organisation cost me heavily».
Rahul Gandhi›s leadership was not only instrumental in «complete demolition of the Congress› consultative mechanism but also gave rise to a new coterie of inexperienced sycophants to run the affairs of the party», Azad said.
The «remote-control model» destroyed the party›s institutional integrity to the extent that proxies were being propped up to take over its leadership, and this was a no-holds-barred account of how the grand old party had lost both the will and the ability to fight for what is right for India, he said. On tearing the ordinance paper by Rahul Gandhi, the seasoned politician said that it was a bad decision on his part, ultimately leading to his disaster. He further said that if had got the clues, then what was the need to cry.
Had I been in Congress, I would have become spineless and would have undergone surgery, said the seasoned politician. Several celebrities such as Anand Sharma, NCP’s Praful Patel, AAP’s Sanjay Singh, Farooq Abdullah from National Conference, Kanimozhi from DMK, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jayant Chaudhary, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Supriya Sule and member of Parliament Kartikeya Sharma were present.