NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday resigned from all party positions, including its primary membership, ahead of organisational elections and accused the leadership of committing "fraud" on the party in the name of "sham" internal polls.
Delivering another blow to the embattled party that has seen a series of high profile exits, including that of Kapil Sibal and Ashwani Kumar, in the recent past, Azad wrote a five-page no holds barred letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi detailing his grievances.
He described the party as "comprehensively destroyed" and said the Congress at the national level has conceded political space available to it to the BJP and state level space to regional parties
"This all happened because the leadership in the past eight years has tried to foist a non-serious individual at the helm of the party," he alleged.
The Congress, he said, has lost both the will and the ability under the tutelage of the coterie that runs the AICC to fight for what is right for India, Azad, who was part of the G-23 group seeking change in party, said.
"It is therefore with great regret and an extremely leaden heart that I have decided to sever my half a century old association with the Indian National Congress and hereby resign from all party positions including the primary membership of the Indian National Congress," Azad said.
Terming the entire organisational election process a "farce and a sham", he said at no place anywhere in the country have elections been held at any level of the organisation.
"Handpicked lieutenants of the AICC have been coerced to sign on lists prepared by the coterie than runs the AICC sitting in 24, Akbar Road. At no place in a booth, block, district or state was an electoral roll published," he said.
"The AICC leadership is squarely responsible for perpetrating a giant fraud on the party to perpetuate its hold on the ruins of what once was a national movement that fought for and attained the Independence of India," Azad told Sonia Gandhi.
"Does the Indian National Congress deserve this in the 75th year of India's independence is a question that the AICC leadership must ask itself," he said.
In his view, "the Indian National Congress has lost both the will and the ability under the tutelage of the coterie that runs the AICC to fight for what is right for India".
In fact, before starting the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the leadership should have undertaken a 'Congress jodo' exercise across the country, he said.
"Unfortunately, the situation in the Congress has reached such a point of no return that now 'proxies' are being propped up to take over the leadership of the party. This experiment is doomed to fail because the party has been so comprehensively destroyed that the situation has become irretrievable. Moreover, the 'chosen one' would be nothing more than a puppet on a string," he said.
Referring to the letter written by him and 22 other leaders in August 2020 to flag the "abysmal drift" in the party, he said "the coterie chose to unleash its sycophants on us and got us attacked, vilified and humiliated in the most crude manner possible".
He alleged that on the directions of the coterie that runs the AICC today, "my mock funeral procession was taken out in Jammu".
"Those who committed this indiscipline were feted in Delhi by the general secretaries of the AICC and Shri Rahul Gandhi personally."
The only crime committed by the 23 leaders who wrote that letter out of concern for the party is that they pointed out the reasons for the weaknesses in the party and the remedies thereof, Azad said.
Instead of taking those views on board in a constructive and cooperative manner, "we were abused, humiliated, insulted and vilified in a specially summoned meeting of the extended CWC meeting", he said.