New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who sent a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi along with 22 other leaders for sweeping changes in the party, on Thursday (August 27) said it was no big deal if their letter got leaked. The veteran leader asked if action should not be taken for “indiscipline” against leaders who targeted them.
Ghulam Nabi Azad told ANI, “What is the big deal if the letter was leaked? It’s not a state secret to ask for the party to be strengthened and hold elections. Even during the time of Indira Gandhi Ji, the Cabinet proceedings used to get leaked.”
Defending the letter, Azad said, “Those who were doing running commentary during Congress Working Committee (CWC), were they not being indiscipline? Persons who were abusing us (for writing the letter), were they not being indiscipline? Shouldn’t action be taken against them? We did not abuse anyone.” Notably, CWC is the highest decision-making body of the party.
“He (Rahul Gandhi) initially had issues with the letter. Later, Soniaji and Rahulji said elections to be held within a month. But it`s not possible, due to COVID. So we requested Soniaji to continue as Pres for six months,” he said.
For the last many decades, Azad said, “we don’t have elected bodies at the party. Maybe we should have pushed for it 10-15 years ago. Now we are losing elections after elections, and if we have to come back we need to strengthen our party by holding elections.”
Azad, who is Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, strongly pitched for elections to the Congress Working Committee and said the party chief should be elected and it is their “victory” that the party will have “full-time president” after six months. He also pitched for elections to the key organisational posts of state chief and district chief.
“Anyone who has a genuine interest in the internal working dynamics of Congress would welcome our proposal to have every state and district president as being elected. The entire Congress Working Committee should be elected,” Azad added.
Azad said their effort was to make the party strong and active and those who simply got “appointment cards” continue to oppose their proposal, adding “The intention is to make Congress active and strong. But those who simply got `appointment cards` continue to oppose our proposal. What`s the harm in having elected CWC members who will have fixed tenures in the party.”
The recent CWC meeting was held in the backdrop of a letter in which Azad and 22 other leaders had called for “full time” active leadership. Several leaders in the party, including party chief ministers, had raised questions over the letter and the issue figured in the CWC meeting.
The resolution adopted at the meeting said that “CWC makes it clear that no one will be or can be permitted to undermine or weaken the party and its leadership at this juncture”. The resolution requested Sonia Gandhi “to continue to lead the Indian National Congress” until such time as circumstances will permit an AICC session to be convened.
It also authorised her to make necessary organisational changes that she may deem appropriate to take on the challenges faced by the party.