Our party’s structure has ‘collapsed’, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

File photo: Umar Ganie

New Delhi: Reflecting the gaping holes in the pan-India party, senior Congress leader and former J&K Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad Sunday said that “our party’s structure has collapsed.”

“Our party’s structure has collapsed. We need to rebuild our structure and then if any leader is elected in that structure, it will work,” Azad said in an interview to news agency ANI.

He, however, soon followed it up with a rejoinder.

“But saying that just by changing the leader, we’ll win Bihar, UP, Madhya Pradesh etc is wrong. That will happen once we change the system,” he added.

Azad who is one of the 23 original dissenters whose letter created a storm in the Congress appeared to pick holes in fellow dissenter Kapil Sibal’s remarks on party leadership.

Sibal had been critical of the party leadership while speaking to The Indian Express in the aftermath of the Bihar election, where Congress has been the weakest link in the opposition alliance.

Pointing to a string of reverses in states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, where the party’s presence is strong, Sibal had advised the Congress to “recognise that we are in decline” and that it was essential to converse with “experienced minds… people who understand the political realities of India”.

In the same interview, he had also mentioned that he had been forced to go public with his views as “there has been no dialogue and there seems to be no effort for a dialogue by the leadership”.

Together, the comments were seen as critical of the political understanding and the leadership style of the Gandhis and it had irked a huge section of veterans and Gandhi family loyalists.

Addressing the issue of a full-time president for the party – one of the key demands of the 23 dissenters whose letter in August had triggered a storm – Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Gandhis had been willing to name someone by October, but it is being delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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