Ghulam Nabi Azad, Says Was ‘Forced to Leave Home’; Party Hits Back

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Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who recently resigned from the grand old party, said on Monday that he was “forced to leave his home.” To allegations of associating with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Azad said Modi is just “an excuse” and the party has had an issue with him since the G-23 letter was written.

“They never wanted anyone to write to them, to question them,” Azad told media.

Azad, 73, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, ended his five-decade association with the Congress on Friday, terming it comprehensively destroyed and lashing out at Rahul Gandhi for demolishing its entire consultative mechanism.

He said that the Congress does not respect its leaders and “people don’t know about our contribution to the party”.

“I give my best wishes to the Congress, but the party needs medicines more than wishes. And, these medicines are being provided to the Congress by compounders instead of doctors,” he told reporters.

“The party leadership has no time for setting things right in the party. The leaders promoted in states are making people quit the organisation rather than uniting them with the party,” Azad also said while attacking the party leadership.

Praising the Prime Minister, he said, “I had understood Modi was a crude man as he is not married, does not have children but he has shown his humane side when he spoke in Parliament about the incident that happened with the Gujarati tourists when I was the Chief Minister.”

The Congress, in turn, slammed Ghulam Nabi Azad for his latest attack on its top leadership, saying he has been tasked to “slander” the party and by doing so he diminishes himself further.

Hitting back at Azad, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said, “After such a long career, courtesy entirely the party he’s been tasked to slander, by giving interviews indiscriminately, Mr. Azad diminishes himself further.”

“What’s he afraid of that he’s justifying his treachery every minute? He can be easily exposed but why stoop to his level?” he said on Twitter.

In an exclusive interview with CNN-News18, Azad on Sunday said he was starting his own party in Kashmir and was sure many more leaders from the Congress will join him. “Anyone who is self-respecting should. But let me tell you, I will never ever join or support the BJP,” he said.

Several leaders and activists, who resigned from the Congress following in Ghulam Nabi Azad’s footsteps, met under former Jammu and Kashmir minister G M Saroori’s leadership to ramp up support for the senior leader in his next endeavour.

Azad, a Congress veteran who resigned from the party on August 26, is scheduled to reach Jammu on September 4.

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