Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday reiterated his demand for overhaul of the party and said there is no change in his demand for holding internal elections. He said these elections are necessary if Congress wants to become a national alternative.
“Congress is at its lowest in 72 years. Congress does not have even the post of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha during the last two terms. But Congress won 9 seats in Ladakh hill council elections even as we were not expecting such a positive result,” Azad said while speaking to news agency ANI.
Speaking about the party’s leadership, Azad said, “Till the time, we change our way of functioning at every level, things won’t change. Leadership needs to give a programme to party workers and hold elections for posts. One should be so indispensable that leadership asks for you in your absence.”
He added, “I’m giving a clean chit to Gandhis due to Covid-19 pandemic as they can’t do much right now. There’s no change in our demands. They’ve agreed to most of our demands. Our leadership should hold elections if they want to become a national alternative and revive the party.”
Azad, along with 22 other leaders, had rebelled earlier this year on August 7 and sent a letter to Congress chief, calling for a “visible”, “effective” and “full-time” leader; elections at all levels in the party; and establishing an institutional leadership model to collectively guide the party, among other steps.
Four of the 23 leaders – Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mukul Wasnik, Anand Sharma and Jitin Prasada – were then members of the party’s working committee CWC. Other senior leaders who have signed the letter included Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tiwari, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and Prithviraj Chavan.
The letter had sparked stormy and marathon session of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body in the party, followed by heavy criticism of those who signed the letter, and the focus of the discussion was largely on its timing, and its leak, rather than on its substance.