Prime Minister Narendra Modi became emotional on Tuesday as he recalled the years he worked with outgoing leader of Opposition and veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. PM Modi recalled Azad’s concerns over Gujarati tourists. Ghulam Nabi Azad’s term in Rajya Sabha comes to an end. PM said, “I will never forget Shri Azad’s efforts and Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s efforts when people from Gujarat were stuck in Kashmir due to a terror attack. Ghulam Nabi Ji was constantly following up, he sounded as concerned as if those stuck were his family members”.
“When a terrorist attack happened in Jammu and Kashmir, and Gujaratis on a pilgrimage were stranded, he (Azad) called me,” the PM said with tears in his eyes. “He cared for those people like you would care for a member of your family.” Modi also recalled several other occasions where the two opposing leaders had shared a laugh or bantered as they shared a special camaraderie in Parliament. “Before I entered electoral politics, I met Ghulam Nabi Azad ji,” he said. “He told the reporters that while you may see us fight on TV debates, under the roof of this House, we are family.” Modi added that he valued Azad as a friend and his doors would always be open to the outgoing leader of Opposition. Azad is slated to retire on February 15. “Whoever takes over in his stead will have a problem; they will have to work really hard to fill his shoes,” Modi said.
“Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad has distinguished himself in Parliament. He not only worried about his Party but also had a similar passion towards the smooth running of the House and towards India’s development,” PM Modi said in the Rajya Sabha today.