Now, Ghulam Nabi Azad hits out at ‘5-star culture’ in Congress

We are reformists, not rebels’, says veteran leader, part of the group that wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi demanding change

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 hands of leadership by proposing wide ranging 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 Bihar election loss of the party, Azad blamed the five-star culture that, 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 hotel at nights when they are managing elections. They should instead go among the people with the local leaders instead of leaving the turf open for opponents,” said Azad.

He said there was no point in staying in top hotels in state capitals and return to Delhi after few days.