September 22, 2020

When Ghulam Nabi Azad Twice Pleaded for ‘Apolitical’ Sonia Gandhi to Lead Congress



Sonia Gandhi has a cause to be damage by the involvement of Ghulam Nabi Azad among the many ‘dissenters’, who wrote a letter in search of sweeping adjustments within the Congress’ management.

Azad has been fiercely loyal to the Congress, and by extension, the Gandhis. His entry in politics dates again to Sanjay Gandhi period, and since then, there was no wanting again for him as he went on to change into a union minister, a chief minister and an AICC functionary. In 24, Akbar Highway most important constructing, there wouldn’t be a single room that has not been occupied by Azad from 1980s until date.

In Monday’s CWC, Azad drew flak nearly from everybody, together with Priyanka Gandhi and Ambika Soni. Soni, typically thought of to be sympathetic to Azad, made a reasonably unkind reduce pointing how all through his political profession, Azad has had nationwide flag mounted on his official car. Azad is presently chief of opposition within the Rajya Sabha that grants him standing at par with a cupboard minister. One other occasion chief taking care of Goa questioned why a former chief minister of J&Ok was not put beneath home arrest after the abrogation of Article 370. Ahmed Patel, Azad’s modern, additionally took potshots at him.

On 27 March, 2002, Sonia Gandhi had given him a “punishing task as chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress”, a unit that was nearly defunct within the violence-ridden state. Azad had earned the doubtful distinction of being a ‘rootless marvel’ as a result of he had no help base in his residence state.

At that time of time, Azad was the AICC common secretary. His abrupt exit from the previous had shocked many within the occasion. Barely 5 years later, he grew to become the chief minister of his residence state.

Rajiv Gandhi additionally had lot of religion in Azad and at all times saved him on his aspect. When PV Narasimha Rao was going through a management problem from Arjun Singh, it was Azad who determined to tackle the Thakur. In an unbelievable admission, Azad claimed that he had spent greater than 1000 hours with Rajiv in non-public, implying that there was nobody else who might boast of such proximity to the previous PM.

Sitaram Kesri was the Congress president in December 1997 when Sonia Gandhi merely agreed to marketing campaign for the occasion in February 1998 common elections. This was a time when many Congress leaders like Aslam Sher Khan, Mani Shankar Aiyar, PR Kumaramangalam, Suresh Kalmadi and Buta Singh had abandoned the grand outdated occasion.

In despair, numerous center rung leaders led by Ghulam Nabi Azad referred to as on the then “apolitical” Sonia Gandhi with a plea: “how will you enable the collapse of the Congress earlier than your eyes.” The tardy progress within the Rajiv Gandhi assassination probe, declining fortunes of the Congress and assault on the Nehru-Gandhi legacy had weighed closely on Sonia’s resolution to hitch energetic politics.

Sonia considered the Congress as extension of her love for Rajiv and the nation she had chosen to stay. In an interview, she had instructed journalist Shekhar Gupta that she had a pang of guilt every time she handed by Rajiv Gandhi’s portrait hung at the lounge of 10, Janpath, that she not doing sufficient to revive the Congress.

Sonia’s entry in politics decreased Kesri to a digital no person. He didn’t step out of seven, Purana Qila Marg, all through the 1998 common elections. What was worse and extra humiliating for him was that every day, V George or Oscar Fernandes would come to him with recordsdata and papers and AICC chief Kesri would signal on dotted strains.

By the way, this was the second time when Congress leaders of all hue and shades had appealed to Sonia to take over occasion management. This time too, the person within the lead was Ghulam Nabi Azad.

On Could 22, 1991, when 18 hours after Rajiv Gandhi assassination, the Congress Working Committee had met at 24, Akbar Highway, New Delhi, 18 CWC members, together with 4 everlasting members and two particular invitees, sat cross legged on white sheet, reclining on masnads.

PV Narasimha Rao was chairing the meet and the place meant for the occasion president was saved vacant as a mark of respect for Rajiv Gandhi. Grim-faced Ok Karunakaran, Arjun Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Balram Jakhar, Meira Kumar, Jaganath Pahadia, Rajendra Kumari Bajpai, H Ok L Bhagat, Buta Singh, Ram Chandra Vikal, Sitaram Kesri, Sharad Pawar, Pranab Mukherjee, Jitendra Prasada, M L Fotedar, Janardhan Reddy and P Shiv Shankar selected Sonia as occasion chief regardless that Rajiv’s widow was not even a ‘char aana’ member of the Congress.

Pranab Mukherjee broke the information about Sonia’s choice to the media. The seasoned politician confronted hostile press regardless that Mukherjee saved parroting, “she is the one one that will be capable to present management and this juncture and beneath her management, the way forward for the Congress is vibrant”.

When Mukherjee was requested how the CWC had chosen a pacesetter who was not even an Indian citizen till 1983, Mukherjee had replied, “She is an Indian housewife who has been exercising franchise within the New Delhi constituency.”

On August 10, 2019, Sonia determined to take reigns of the occasion once more when Rahul Gandhi tendered his resignation as 87th president of the AICC on Could 25, 2019. Sonia saved mum and always declined to call a successor or represent any occasion panel to search for Rahul’s substitute.

Many years of excessive command tradition has made Congress so subservient, that no person within the occasion might muster the braveness to “bell the cat”. Inertia and drift adopted at the same time as Rahul remained adamant.

Lastly on August 9, 2019, when an off-the-cuff headcount was organised at 24, Akbar Highway, 148 out of 150 leaders (consisting of Congress working Committee members, chief ministers of party-ruled states, CLP leaders, PCC chiefs and so forth) had favoured Gandhis to guide the Congress. Azad was ‘opening batman’ to congratulate and thank Sonia Gandhi for caring for the occasion.

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