Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad offers explanation over letter, offers to resign

Ghulam Nabi Azad, one of the 23 Congress leaders who wrote to party chief seeking an overhaul in the organisation among other things, on Monday said he was ready to step down if he was in any manner helping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or working at its behest.

Azad’s explanation came at the meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) over the letter written by him and other party leaders calling for sweeping reforms in the organisation.

Before Azad spoke, Rahul Gandhi questioned the timing of the letter written by the party’s leaders. The former Congress president said that the letter was sent to the party chief at a time when she had not been keeping well. He also said the letter came at a time when the “party is fighting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya and Rajasthan.”

In the letter, former chief ministers, members of the party’s highest decision-making body and sitting members of Parliament, had suggested far-reaching changes including dissolution of powers to state units and revamping the highest decision-making body.

One of the 23 Congress leaders had even sought dissolution of powers to state units and revamping the CWC even as another of the group as come out in support of current party president Sonia Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi said during the meeting that she was not willing to continue as interim chief even as several leaders urged her to stay on.