Now, Azad hits out at Cong’s ‘5-star tradition, disconnect’

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22

The Congress churn over its rapidly depleting electoral base continued on Sunday with letter writer and veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad saying the party had been hit by a “five- star culture” and stood disconnected from the grassroots.

Calling for urgent elections at the level of block, district and state Congress committees, Azad, who was among 23 leaders to urge Congress president Sonia Gandhi in writing for an organisational overhaul this August, said today that leaders seeking change were “reformists and not rebels”.

“We are not rebels, or dissenters. We are reformists speaking for the betterment of the party. We are not against the Congress leadership. Rather we are strengthening the leadership by proposing reforms,” said Azad, days after another letter writer and former minister Kapil Sibal publicly said time for introspection in the Congress was over and now was the time for action.

Reacting to the Bihar election loss of the party, Azad blamed the five-star culture, which he said was harming party’s prospects.

“Congress leaders at various levels should give up this five-star culture at least during elections. State in charges must tour the field and not be in a hurry to return to their five-star hotels at night when they are managing elections. They should instead go among the people with local leaders,” said Azad.

‘No crisis; support for Sonia clear apparent’

Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: Amid criticism of the Congress top brass by some leaders following a poor show in the Bihar polls, senior leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday said there was no leadership crisis and an all-round support for Sonia and Rahul Gandhi was “apparent to anyone who is not blind”. PTI

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