Last week, Azad resign by writing a five-page letter to the interim president of the National Assembly Sonia Gandhi and in it he accuses her son Rahul Gandhi as “childish” and a “non-serious politician”.
Later, while speaking to mediators on August 29, he said that the foundation of Congress had become very weak and the party could collapse at any moment. He added, Rahul Gandhi had no aptitude for politics.
Hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, Azad is the Muslim face of Parliament and one of the few remaining leaders of the party’s former bodyguard. His relationship with the party spanned five decades, during which he held many important constitutional posts, from Jammu and Kashmiri chief minister to Union minister and opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha.
Later, Azad became a prominent member of the G-23 – a group of 23 dissident Congressional leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 demanding internal party reform.
His departure from the Congress and his outburst is likely to damage the party. Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah of the National Conference party spoke out about the damage to the Congress party.
Omar said in a tweet: “It has long been rumored to be kicking off but a blow to Congress no less. Perhaps the most senior leader to quit the party in recent times, his resignation letter is heartbreaking. It’s sad, and quite scary, to watch the big old Indian party unfold.”
Here are five ways Azad’s resignation has the potential to harm Congress.
1. Program of the National Assembly
The Congress had planned to hold several programs from August 29 to September 7. Both Parliamentary Secretary-General in charge of Communications Jairam Ramesh and Secretary-General in charge of Rajasthan Ajay Maken regret that Azad from took place at a time when the party was preparing to hold two press conferences, one rally and one padyatra about inflation, unemployment and polarized politics during the period.
Azad has adversely affected at least two shows to date. Maken and Ramesh were scheduled to hold a press conference on the Delhi government’s alcohol policy led by Arvind Kejriwal on August 26. However, the two leaders had a press conference of just over seven minutes and presented expressed regret over Azad’s resignation. a few minutes earlier.
Trying to appear brave, Maken and Ramesh postponed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s excise policy press conference by one day.
In his brief speech, Ramesh said: “It is unfortunate and most regrettable that this happened when the president of the National Assembly Smt Sonia Gandhi ji, Sri Rahul Gandhi ji and the entire party organization of the National Assembly on Nationwide is engaged in BJP confrontation, struggle and battle over the issues of mehangai (price increase), berozogari (unemployment) and polarization. The entire party organization of the Congress in the past few weeks has been involved in the preparations for the ‘Mehangai par halla bol’ rally at Ramlila Maidan on September 4th which Rahul Gandhi ji will tackle. ”
He said 22 press conferences have been scheduled nationwide for August 29. “The launch of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ will take place on September 7 from Kanyakumari. Finalization is also underway. And 32 press conferences have been scheduled across the country to deliver the message of Bharat Jodo Yatra. ”
Ramesh added, “So at a time where every MP and every Congress woman is involved in making sure that the ‘Mehangai par halla bol’ rally will be successful, wants to be a Bharat yatri and wants to be a Bharat yatri. go with Rahul Gandhi ji about this 3,500 long Bharat Jodo Yatra, the most regrettable and most regrettable thing is that at this point we have to read this letter which has been published in the press. That’s all we want to say at the moment. Tomorrow Ajay Maken ji will speak in today’s press conference on the alcohol policy of the Delhi government. ”
LIVE: Shri @Jairam_Ramesh and @ajaymaken Congress Party Briefing at AICC HQ. https://t.co/pfXvyeEUs1
– Congress (@INCIndia) 1661497085000
In fact, the 22 press conferences on August 29 were also overshadowed with comments by Azad about the Congress and Rahul Gandhi. His resignation could affect further party programs.
2. Jammu and Kashmir politics
Jammu and Kashmir was downgraded from a state to a Union Territory (UT) and Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution giving special powers to the previous state were nullified in 2019. Thereafter, the demarcation of constituencies took place. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said on several occasions that council elections will be held and statehood restored in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the 2011 Census, Muslim make up 68.31% while Hindus make up 28.44% of the population. The National Conference (NC) is led by Farooq Abdullah. The People’s Democratic Front (PDP) is led by Mehbooba Mufti and the Parliament has shared power over the years in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, the BJP first came to power after the 2014 parliamentary elections when it emerged as the second largest party winning 25 out of 87 seats. The PDP is the largest party with 28 seats. NC won 15 while Congress won with 12 seats. Ladakh was part of the first state at that time.
In a post-poll coalition led by a tense council, the BJP formed a government, albeit as a junior partner, along with the PDP. However, that test failed, and the initial status was by Presidential Rule.
The NC, PDP and Congress divided the “votes” among each other. The BJP relies heavily on Hindu votes.
With the exception of Azad, most of the other leaders who have left Parliament since 2019 have joined several other political parties such as Jitin Prasada and RPN Singh who joined the BJP or Sushmita Deb who joined the Congress. The Trinamool Society (TMC) is led by the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Azad is perhaps the only former leader to announce a new political party.
J&K | GM Saroori, Haji Abdul Rashid, Mohd Amin Bhat, Gulzar Ahmad Wani and Choudhary Mohd Akram resign… https://t.co/IsApOTaaHy
– ANI (@ANI) 1661507057000
His party is capable of damaging Congress to a large extent. Several congressional leaders have resigned in favor of Azad. This will harm Congress and help the BJP as there will be four players instead of the previous three that will attract Muslim votes.
3. The Secular Approach of Congress
Azad was a prominent Muslim face of Congress for several years. Be it an immediate ban on three talaqs, nullification of Article 370 or downgrading of Jammu and Kashmir, he is one of the most prominent voices of Parliament inside and outside Parliament.
The parliament is doing its best to attract Muslims who have drifted towards regional parties such as the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav, the Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Lalu Prasad and the AAP.
Azad’s resignation will only make it more difficult for Congress to win back Muslims.
4. Image of Nehru-Gandhis
Azad did maximum damage to Nehru-Gandhis, especially Rahul Gandhi, to a degree that no other leader has done by resigning from the party in the recent past.
He tore down Rahul Gandhi by not only calling him “childish” and “not serious politician” but also “immature”. He accused the Nehru-Gandhi group of “breaking the consultation mechanism” of the Parliament.
In her five-page letter, Azad alleges that a faction runs the National Assembly while Sonia Gandhi is only the nominal head. He accused Rahul Gandhi – or worse, his security guards and personal assistants – of making all the important decisions.
About Sonia Gandhi, he said that she behaves like a typical mother who always loves her children.
These verses will only help the opponents of Congress defeat the party and mock Nehru-Gandhis.
5. Election of the President of the National Assembly
Congress has announced its presidential election schedule. Elections will be held on October 17.
While renouncing the party and afterward, he alleged that the process of electing the president of the National Assembly was a farce. He said no voter lists were prepared and Nehru-Gandhis or someone chosen by them would become president.
Azad sought to erode the credibility of the electoral process even before it was held. In the process, he tried to clean up the party and prove him wrong.