'He has destroyed the Youth Congress. Now he is trying to destroy the NSUI. Next he will destroy the Congress. Whatever responsibility you give him he will destroy that.'
Expelled Congress leader Gufran-e-Azam shares what he told Sonia Gandhi with A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com.
Gufran-e-Azam was expelled from the Congress party on Wednesday, October 15, for 'indulging in anti-party activities.'
His criticism of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi incensed the 'high command,' but Azam is unrepentant.
"What I have been saying is for the good of the party. I am not against anyone. I have nothing personal against Rahul Gandhi (image, left,). I am only saying that he is not fit to lead the party," Azam, a senior Congress leader from Madhya Pradesh, told Rediff.com in a telephone interview from Bhopal.
Since the Lok Sabha elections, in which the Congress was trounced, Azam is the second Congress leader to speak out against Rahul.
T H Mustafa, a Congress leader from Kerala, was suspended from the party for calling Rahul Gandhi a 'joker' who should be sacked from his post if he did not own up responsibility for the election debacle.
Azam said he had met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and told her that her son was not fit for or interested in politics. When nothing was done, Azam says, he wrote to her, saying the same thing, but again no action was taken.
In his letter to Sonia Gandhi, Azam wrote: 'Your love for your son has destroyed the Congress. I have been telling you this for 10 years now. You have not been able to teach him to take a stand, address a crowd, organise anything. You have not been able to teach him the basics of politics.'
'He has destroyed the Youth Congress. Now he is trying to destroy the National Students Union of India. Next he will destroy the Congress. Whatever responsibility you give him he will destroy that. Even then you continue to be blinded by your love for your son. All he does is wave his hands when he is speaking.'
"This is what I had told her when I met her in person, but no action was taken. So I put it in writing and sent it to Sonia Gandhi. Again, nothing happened. Finally when I had run out of options I released the letter to the media," Azam said.
Following this, Azam, image, left, was expelled from the Congress for 'anti-party activities.'
"Now the same media is telling me that I have been expelled from the party. I have not received any letter or phone call from the party. I am 70 plus, and have been in the party from before Indira Gandhi's time."
"The Congress is the oldest party in the country and it used to be democratic. Now it has become a dictatorship. It has become a mother and son's party. If they dismiss me without giving me a chance to explain my stance, it will vindicate me. It will prove beyond doubt that they are dictators against whom no one can speak. If you speak, then you will be thrown out of the party."
"The Congress constitution clearly states that before expelling anyone he or she should be served a notice and be given a chance to speak. Only after that will a final decision be taken."
"I have been in the Congress for more than five decades," says Azam, striking yet another defiant note, "I will not allow anyone to throw me out of my party. I will take them to court."