Congress leader Ghulam Ahmad Mir on Friday accused Ghulam Nabi Azad of working to weaken the party internally at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Whatever he [Azad] does now, the [BJP-led] central government will be assisting it. We were saying from time to time that he [Azad] had got a project from the BJP to destroy the Congress internally,” said Mir, a former chief of Congress’s Jammu & Kashmir (J&) unit in response to Azad’s resignation from the party.
Mir claimed Azad, who wrote a scathing resignation letter criticising Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for promoting a “coterie”, was contemplating his exit for over a year now. He dismissed Azad’s comments about a lack of internal democracy in Congress as optics. Mir suggested Azad was scared of central government agencies. “The ultimate goal was to escape them…”
Mir said Azad somehow developed a rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah to destroy Congress and save himself. He referred to Modi’s emotional farewell speech when Azad retired from Rajya Sabha and said it was not without a purpose.
“…he [Azad] damaged the Congress from within because he wanted to ensure that once he left the party there was no other big voice left and today he has delivered the final blow. From day one, he had this design.” Mir said Azad’s exit will lead to J&K Congress’s purification.
Mir blamed Azad for factionalism in J&K Congress for 30 years. “While holding key positions at the national level, he used to run his J&K agenda via a chunk of people.”
Mir said Azad’s resignation will be an acid test for the J&K Congress chief Vikar Rasool. “It is to be seen whether he follows Azad or the party ideology.” Mir said Azad got everything from Congress. He added Azad most probably will form his own party to support the BJP.
J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina said Azad’s resignation letter exposed the rot in Congress. “Azad strengthened the Congress with his sweat and blood. But the party embarrassed him, insulted him, and eventually compelled him to resign.”
When asked if BJP will ask to Azad to join the party and declare him as chief ministerial candidate, Raina said, “If he wants to join us, we will definitely welcome him. The BJP’s parliamentary board has to take the call on such issues.”