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Anand Sharma On Quitting Congress Panel

New Delhi:

Anand Sharma, who today stepped down from the “steering committee” of the Himachal Pradesh unit of Congress and sparked a crisis in the state unity, said he is “defamatory and humiliated” despite having given his entire life to the party . In an exclusive interview with NDTV, Mr Sharma said, “I’m not saying I’m alone… We all have challenges. I’ve had issues over the years where I could have pulled back from a challenged autistic son”. “I’ve given up my profession, I’ve given up my life. I don’t need to be slandered. I’m deeply hurt and humiliated. I’m sorry,” he added, breaking his voice.

When asked if he had any plans to leave the party, he said: “Never. I make this absolutely clear… There is no one in the Congress who Ghulam Nabi Azad, me and some others who gave our lives to the side”.

“What is this canard that is being spread? To raise issues in the party for internal reform and collective decision-making leadership – is that a crime? That is the tradition and history of the Indian National Congress,” he added. “Intriguers and intruders cannot make such absurd remarks about us.”

Speaking about the treatment of all G-23 members — the leaders who wrote an explosive letter to Sonia Gandhi two years ago requesting major organizational changes — he said: “We are the builders of this Congress. -owners, we are not tenants or slaves… Why are we condemned when we raise certain issues?”

In May, both Mr Sharma and Mr Azad were removed from the party’s Rajya Sabha lists, sparking loud protests from many in the party.

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Speaking of the latest “humiliation”, Mr Sharma explained that he has decided to resign from the post of Himachal Pradesh Steering Committee.

As a longtime member of the party’s Working Committee and Political Committee, “I did not ask to be chair of any steering committee,” he said. “Why I was not invited to participate in all the meetings, I cannot answer. My position had become untenable,” he added, underlining the time the party sent central observers.

Mr Sharma, like others in the G-23, has sharply criticized the party over the past two years on multiple issues, including its alliance with a controversial new party put forward by a Muslim cleric in Bengal and the silence of the leaders about the attack on Kapil Sibal’s house.

Because the organizational changes promised by Sonia Gandhi were repeatedly delayed after their letter, a number of leaders left the party.

In the past two years, the party lost Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada, RPN Singh, Ashwani Kumar, Kapil Sibal and Hardik Patel. Most of these leaders have switched to the BJP.



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