In a major setback to the Congress, party veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad quit as its primary member; he announced he would launch his own party in J&K. Short Post broke the story on August 18. In a 5-page letter to party president Sonia Gandhi, Azad made it clear that the situation in the Congress had reached a point of ‘no return’. In a parting shot, Azad bitterly criticised Rahul Gandhi as a “non-serious person “for conceding political space at the national level and at state levels to the BJP and regional parties. “Post 2019 elections after Rahul Gandhi stepped down in a huff and not before insulting all the senior party functionaries who have given their lives to the party. The remote-control model that destroyed the UPA got applied to Congress,” said Azad. “While you are just a nominal figurehead, all important decisions were being taken by Rahul Gandhi or rather worse his security guards and PAs,” he said. Congress leaders attacked Azad for writing a letter when Sonia was abroad with her son Rahul for a medical check-up and claimed it was aimed at demoralising party workers gearing up for September 7 Bharat Jodo Yatra. Top party leaders from Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot to AICC media-in-charge Jairam Ramesh to Tamil Nadu MP Jothimani trolled Azad. Gehlot said: ”For 42 years, Congress had given Azadji important responsibilities. No one expected such a letter from him “.