Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is chairperson of the newly formed Democratic Progressive Azad Party, claims Rahul Gandhi “mismanaged” the Himanta episode.
Rahul told us bluntly that there would be no change in leadership. We pointed out to him (Rahul) that Himanta had the majority of MLAs and would rebel and quit the party. “Let him go”, Rahul said. “The meeting was over,” Azad, 74, says in his autobiography that will release next month.
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Sarma, 54, was appointed chief minister in 2021, just five years after leaving the Congress, after he ensured a second consecutive win for the BJP in Assam.
According to Azad, he was not sure if Rahul said what he did “to assert himself or because he was ignorant that his decision would have far-reaching consequences, not only in the state of Assam but the entire Northeast”.
The former leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha says he apprised Sonia Gandhi of the new “twist in the tale” in the Himanta episode, after the interaction with Rahul Gandhi.
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“… it is rather unfortunate that she did not assert herself as the party president. Instead, she asked me to request Himanta to not rock the boat,” Azad writes.
From devising a strategy with Indira Gandhi to bring Rajiv into politics and convincing Sonia to become the party chief to his mediation efforts in the tussle between Rahul Gandhi and Himanta Biswa Sarma, Ghulam Nabi in “Azaad” explores the challenges of leadership and the consequences of daring to bring fresh thinking into the political landscape, the publishers Rupa said in a statement.
(With agency inputs)