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The Congress on Sunday hit back at Ghulam Nabi Azad accusing him of working at the behest of his "political bosses" and said he was twisting facts in his favour to befool the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh said Azad has again made a blatant attempts to distort history in an attempt to generate an undue sympathy from the people of the Union territory.
"Ghulam Nabi Azad while continuing to fulfil his role assigned to him by his bosses today again made a blatant attempt to distort history in an attempt to generate an undue sympathy from the people of Jammu and Kashmir," Ramesh said in a statement while making a sharp rebuttal of Azad's claims made at a rally in Jammu.
Ramesh claimed that the former J&K chief minister was lying while saying he fought first election in which he was elected to Lok Sabha on a Congress ticket on his own without any help from anyone.
"This is a white lie. In 1980, he was elected as a Lok Sabha member from Maharashtra's Washim constituency, a Congress stronghold, prior to that he had suffered a humiliating defeat in an assembly election in his home state (Jammu and Kashmir).
"Azad's claims of being a 'politician connected' with the people are again far from the truth. Statistically and factually, he has never been able to win a single election except for an assembly by-election win," Ramesh said.
The Congress general secretary said in his first election Azad got 959 votes and forfeited his security deposit, after that he spent most part of his political career in Rajya Sabha.
"In 2014, he again tried his luck in Lok Sabha elections against a lesser known Jitendra Singh of BJP. Azad was humiliated in the election again and was defeated by a staggering margin of over 60,000 votes. He is not a leader of the masses and neither is he grounded, he is in fact a power hungry schemer who has no principal or ethical boundaries to abide by," Ramesh said in his statement.
"In his personal attacks against Shri Rahul Gandhi, he again contradicted his own self. In 2013, it was he himself who favoured Shri Rahul Ji as the leader of the party and then he himself recommended the name of Shri Vikar Rasool Wani as the new Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee chief.
"After parting ways from the party on the directions of his masters, it doesn't make any sense for him to spread fallacy and lies in public. Congress condemns his blatantly fictitious and delusional hyperbole," Ramesh said.
The Congress leader was reacting to Azad's speech at his first public rally after exiting the party and rebuked major parts of his speech in which he made references towards his initial political journey with the Congress and Rahul Gandhi.
In the rally on Sunday, Azad spelled out the agenda of his yet-to-be-named party -- the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir's statehood, protection of land and job rights of its residents, and the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.
Addressing the well-attended rally at Sainik Colony on the outskirts of Jammu, the veteran leader said he would announce the name of his new party after consulting people and leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, but added "it will be in neither Maulana's Urdu nor Pandit's Sanskrit".
Azad was accorded a warm welcome by his supporters who turned up in large numbers at the Jammu airport and took him in a procession to the rally venue.
Days after leaving Congress, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister launched a veiled attack on Rahul Gandhi and said he gave sweat and blood' for the party unlike those who are spreading falsehood through social media.
Azad, however, was all praise for National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and said he displayed statesmanship while making a comment on his exit from the grand old party.
Azad, 73, ended his five-decade-long association with the Congress on August 26, terming the party "comprehensively destroyed". He also lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for "demolishing" the party's entire consultative mechanism.
"The people who want to defame me have their reach only on Twitter or computer, propagating falsehood through SMS, which is the main reason why Congress has vanished from the ground," Azad said in an apparent reference to Gandhi.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Sun, September 04 2022. 21:10 IST