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Ghulam Nabi Azad Tries to Mend Fence after '5-star Culture' Remark, Draws Flak from Cong Leaders

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Party leader Sanjay Nirupam too has attacked the dissenters, saying "those criticising the leadership will weaken the party." He also said that Rahul Gandhi should take over as the party president.

Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad, who had criticised the party after the debacle in the Bihar assembly elections, is under fire despite his ‘clean chit’ to the Gandhi family.

Haryana MLA Chiranjeev Rao and brother-in-law of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said that “Ghulam should be made ‘Azad’ from the party", even as the Congress asked both sides to refrain from speaking in public at a time when the internal crisis in the Congress is deepening with each passing day.

Party leader Sanjay Nirupam too has attacked the dissenters, saying “those criticising the leadership will weaken the party." He also said that Rahul Gandhi should take over as the party president.

While Azad on Sunday gave a clean chit to the Gandhis, it is believed among the party circles that he strategically avoided to attack the Gandhis as he is aware of the repercussions.

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The dissenters have said that they are not rebels but reformists, and have pushed for elections in the organisation.

Besides questioning the party leadership and functioning, Azad has also said that the party should hold elections to strengthen the organisation and make it more responsible. Dismissing allegations of rebellion levelled against the dissenters, Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said, “We are reformists and want the revival of the party."

Azad, the second senior Congress leader after former Union minister Kapil Sibal to speak about the party’s dismal show in the Bihar Assembly polls, said that the Congress should shed the five-star culture, at least during elections, and insisted that the leaders should reach out to the people.

“There is no connect between the leaders and the people," Azad said, as he insisted that elections should be held at different levels of the party so that people become responsible and work for the party.

Azad also said that there is no issues with the first family in the Congress and gave a clean chit to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi and former President Rahul Gandhi.

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first published:November 23, 2020, 20:58 IST