Ghulam Nabi Azad turned down Sonia Gandhi’s offer: Report

New Delhi: According to sources, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who started his political innings with Indira Gandhi, has refused to work at number two in the Congress. In the upcoming Rajya Sabha election, Azad was not offered a ticket.

However, before declaring the candidate for the Rajya Sabha, Sonia Gandhi met and spoke to Azad and expressed the Congress’ plan for him.

According to sources, in his conversation with Sonia Gandhi, he did not talk about the Rajya Sabha elections but asked Azad if he would feel comfortable working at the number two position in the organisation.

In response to this question, Azad said, “Today there is a generation gap between the youth running the party and us. There is a difference between our thinking and theirs. So the youth are not ready to work with party stalwarts.”

Azad has been ill for the past few days and was also admitted to the hospital.

In fact, the party, working towards the upliftment of the youth leadership, decided to send Imran Pratapgarhi, the president of the party’s minority wing, to the Rajya Sabha. Sources said that this decision was taken by Rahul Gandhi, to which Sonia Gandhi agreed.

Imran is both ‘young’ and ‘minority’, so he can be a target in Congress. Since the Congress could not give tickets to the minorities, Sonia Gandhi asked Azad to join the organisation.

With Azad going to the Rajya Sabha, the equations of the Congress leadership inside the Rajya Sabha must have deteriorated. At present, Mallikarjun Kharge is the Leader of the Opposition, a post that was earlier held by Azad.

Kharge was appointed the Leader of the Opposition after Azad retired. Azad is currently a member of the party’s executive committee and a member of the Political Affairs Group recently formed by Sonia Gandhi.

Sources said that Azad is not even taking much interest in the work of the party for the last few days. In the Chintan Shivir held in Udaipur, Azad spoke very little in the meetings of the committee.