Ghulam Nabi Azad blames lower level leaders for Congress debacle, gives clean-chit to Gandhis

After the party’s poor performance in Bihar, questions over the leadership are growing within the Congress party. Amid this on Sunday, senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad sought to address the concerns of the dissenters, even as he denied any prospects of an internal rebellion.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Azad began by giving a “clean-chit” to the Gandhis and defending them. Azad, instead suggested that it is the grassroot level leaders, those in charge of blocks and districts, who have lost connect to the ground.

He said that polls are not won by five-star culture and party office-bearers should be elected. “Polls aren’t won by 5-star culture. Problem with leaders today is if they get a party ticket, they first book a 5-star hotel. They won’t go if there’s a rough road. Till the time 5-star culture is given up, one can’t win elections,” the Congress leader said.

Azad said the “culture of sycophancy” has become one of the main reasons for the party’s collapse, as well as the downfall of leaders. “We should stay away from this culture at all levels. Politics is a penance. Shame on those who join politics for enjoyment & money,” he said.

The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister stressed on the necessity for internal elections on all levels, adding that the situation will not change till office bearers are elected and not appointed.

“Office bearers should understand their responsibility. Till the time office bearers are appointed, they won’t go to the grassroots. But if all office bearers are elected, then they will understand their responsibility. Right now, anyone gets any post in the party. Our people have lost the connection with the grassroots,” he said.

When asked about an internal rebellion, Azad said that rebellions are carried out when one is trying to topple someone, however there is no candidate for the president of the party and so such questions don’t arise. He, however noted the importance to elect a new president.

“The party leadership should arrange elections. There is a general impression that there is no president of the party. Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi said that party election should be held in October. But we said that the election should be held after six months due to COVID-19,” Azad said.