Rahul Gandhi mismanaged the Himanta Biswa Sarma’s Congress exit episode, Ghulam Nabi Azad in his upcoming autobiography


Indian National Congress (INC), the party which once ruled the entire northeast, has been almost wiped out of the region today. The downfall of the grand old party in the northeast can be traced back to one significant event – the exit of Himanta Biswa Sarma, according to former senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.

In this autobiography “Azaad” which is set to release next month, the former Congerss leader pointed the finger at Rahul Gandhi for his mismanagement of the Himanta Biswa Sarma situation and said that it finally led to the downfall of the Congress in Assam and the entire northeastern region.

“Rahul told us bluntly that there would be no change in leadership. We pointed out to him (Rahul) that Himanta had the majority of MLAs and would rebel and quit the party. ‘Let him go,’ Rahul said. The meeting was over,” Azad, 74, says in his autobiography that will release next month.

Azad, who is chairperson of the newly formed Democratic Progressive Azad Party, says Rahul Gandhi “mismanaged” the Sarma episode. Sarma, 54, was appointed chief minister in 2021, just five years after leaving the Congress, after he ensured a second consecutive win for the BJP in Assam.

According to Azad, he was not sure if Rahul said what he did “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”.

The former leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha says he apprised Sonia Gandhi of the new “twist in the tale” after the interaction with Rahul Gandhi.

“… 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,” Azad writes.

From devising a strategy with Indira Gandhi to bring Rajiv into politics and convincing Sonia to become the party chief to his mediation efforts in the tussle between Rahul Gandhi and Himanta Biswa Sarma, Ghulam Nabi in “Azaad” explores the challenges of leadership and the consequences of daring to bring fresh thinking into the political landscape, the publishers Rupa said in a statement.

Just five years after leaving the Congress, Himanta Biswa Sarma became the Assam Chief Minister in 2021 after ensuring BJP’s second successive victory in the state.

On the other hand, Himanta Biswa Sarma rose to become the Chief Minister of Assam, the convenor of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and a key figure of the BJP in central leadership as well. He worked towards grafting alliances with regional parties and helped the BJP consolidate its foothold in the entire northeastern region.