Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, in his upcoming autobiography “Azaad”, has revealed how Rahul Gandhi had “mismanaged” in dealing with the leadership tussle in Assam between former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after rebelling against Mr. Gogoi.
The book, that promises to reveal several backroom stories and humourous anecdotes, will be launched on April 5.
However, the publisher, Rupa, has put out an excerpt of the episode in the invite to the formal launch.
‘When we arrived at Rahul’s residence the next morning, we saw Tarun Gogoi and his son, Gaurav Gogoi, sitting with him. Rahul told us bluntly that there would be no change in leadership. We pointed out to him that Himanta had the majority of MLAs and would rebel and quit the party. ‘Let him go,’ Rahul said. The meeting was over," Mr Azad is quoted as saying in the book.
".. I am not sure if Rahul said this 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," noted the author.
The former Congress veteran, who has worked with several Prime Ministers including Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao and Dr. Manmohan Singh, then wrote how he called on the then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to "apprise her of the twist in the tale".
"Despite understanding the disastrous consequences that lay ahead, 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,"Mr Azad has written.
In August last year, Mr Azad had severed his nearly five decade long association with the Congress over his difference with the leadership regarding the functioning of the party and launched his Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) in Jammu and Kashmir.