Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad | Photo Credit: ANI
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday blamed the 5-star culture among the leaders for the party's recent losses in elections and said the leaders of the grand old party have lost the connection on the ground.
"We all are worried about losses, especially about Bihar and by-polls results. I don't blame the leadership for the loss. Our people have lost the connection on the ground. One should be in love with their party," news agency ANI quoted Azad as saying.
"Polls aren't worn by 5-star culture. The problem with leaders today is if they get a party ticket, they first book a 5-star hotel. They won't go if there's a rough road. Till the time 5-star culture is given up, one can't win elections," the Congress leader added.
Earlier in September, veteran politician Azad was removed as All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary even as he was retained in the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in a major organisational reshuffle. Azad was one of the 23 party members who wrote a letter to interim party president Sonia Gandhi in August this year, demanding a leadership overhaul.
The veteran Congress leader further said that the party is at its lowest in the last 72 years and it does not have even the post of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha during the last two terms. But Congress won 9 seats in Ladakh hill council elections even as the party leaders were not expecting such a positive result.
"Office bearers should understand their responsibility. Till the time, office bearers are appointed, they won't go. But if all office bearers are elected, then they will understand their responsibility. Right now, anyone gets any post in the party," Azad said in an interview with news agency ANI.
Giving a clean chit to Gandhis, Azad said they can't do much right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, he asserted that there's no change in the demands put across the Congress high command by the 'dissenting' leaders.
"They've agreed to most of our demands. Our leadership should hold elections if they want to become a national alternative and revive the party," he said.
The Congress party's structure has collapsed, Azad said. "We need to rebuild our structure and then if any leader is elected in that structure, it will work. But saying that just by changing the leader, we'll win Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc. is wrong. That will happen once we change the system," he added.
The Congress leader went on to say that till the time, the party changes the way of functioning at every level, things won't change. Leadership needs to give a programme to party workers and hold elections for posts. One should be so much indispensable that leadership asks for you in your absence, he said.