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Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot takes swipe at Azad over allegations levelled by him against Cong high-command

Ghulam Nabi Azad was criticised by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday for his accusations against the Congress leadership, saying it was improper for someone whose very identity was derived from the party to make such statements.

August 26, 2022 / 05:55 PM IST
Congress leader and Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot

Congress leader and Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took a dig at Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday over the allegations levelled by him against the Congress leadership, saying it is not right for people whose very identity is due to the party to say such things. Azad resigned from all party positions on Friday ahead of the organisational polls, describing the Congress as "comprehensively destroyed" and accusing its leadership of committing "fraud" on the party in the name of "sham" internal elections.

Gehlot said no one had expected that someone who was never kept without an office by the Congress for 42 years would say such things about the party. "The Congress has given everything to Azad saab. Today, his identity in the country is because of the Congress, because of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao and Sonia Gandhi. I do not think the way he has expressed this sentiment can be called proper," he told reporters when asked about Azad's resignation. "The Congress has given everything to Azad saab.

Gehlot, who worked with Azad for nearly four decades in the Congress, said he was deeply hurt by Azad's allegations against the party. "I am in shock right now. A leader who got everything in 42 years, someone who has not been without an office for 42 years is giving this message today, which is beyond my understanding," he said. "I am in shock right now.

Referring to Congress stalwarts Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi attending Azad's wedding in Srinagar, Gehlot said they wanted "this young boy" to move forward. The party gave him various responsibilities in the organisation subsequently, made him the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, a Union minister and a member of Parliament, he pointed out. "The Congress high-command did not hesitate to give him opportunities. Whatever our identity is today is due to the faith the Congress high-command had in us. How many people get a chance? No one in the country expected that Azad saab would now write such a letter," he said.

Gehlot also raised questions on the timing of Azad making his resignation letter public when Congress president Sonia Gandhi is in the United States for a medical checkup. He said it was insensitive.

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Gehlot said Sonia Gandhi joined politics only because of "our pressure" on her to save the Congress from disintegration. "She has gone to the US for a medical checkup and you are making the letter public? This I understand is against human nature, against sensitivity," he said.

Asked about the allegation that top Congress leaders are surrounded by sycophants, the veteran leader said, "All those who were with Sanjay Gandhi, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, were considered to be sycophants at that time. "But Sanjay Gandhi did not care and that is why Azad saab became such a big leader. Had Sanjay Gandhi removed sycophants under pressure, as Azad is expecting Rahul Gandhi to do today, no one would have known Ghulam Nabi Azad or any other leader."
PTI
first published: Aug 26, 2022 05:55 pm
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