Published On: Tue, Feb 9th, 2021

Modi gets emotional as Rajya Sabha bids farewell to Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday got emotional in the Upper House as he bid farewell to Congress veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad by saying that his legacy in national politics will be hard to replace.

Prime Minister recalled the incident to highlight the humane side of Azad

“As a leader of the opposition, it’s easy to engage in party politics, but Ghulam Nabi Azad Ji rose above this and always prioritised the prosperity of the country first,” PM Modi said.

Memories of the 2007 terror attack in Kashmir on tourists from Gujarat made both Prime Minister and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad emotional in the Rajya Sabha, as the House bid farewell to Leader of Opposition Azad who is among four members retiring from the Upper House this month.

The Prime Minister recalled the incident to highlight the humane side of Azad.

Modi, who was the then Gujarat Chief Minister, recalled that tourists from Gujarat had been attacked in Jammu & Kashmir and then J&K Chief Minister Azad was the first to call him to inform him about the incident and Azad was crying and his tears would not stop.

“I will never forget Azad’s efforts and Pranab Mukherjee’s efforts when people from Gujarat were stuck in Kashmir due to a terror attack and the same night, Ghulam Nabi ji called me from the airport about the despatch of the bodies,” Modi said.

Prime Minister further said, “during the pandemic, it was Azad’s proposal to call an all-party meet to fight the crisis as one nation.”

Hailing Azad’s legacy and his contribution as Rajya Sabha MP, the PM said, Modi said the person who will replace Azad will have a tough task to match his contributions. “He is concerned about his party but more about the House and the country,” said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister, while referring to Azad’s contribution to politics and the House, said: “You are retiring from the House, but I will not let you retire and my doors are open for you and will need your contribution and advice.”

Concluding his emotional speech, PM Modi thanked him for his work for the country and wished him best wishes for his future as a “friend.” PM Modi said that his ”doors will always remain open for him” and he will “always value” his suggestions on political matters. “Ghulam Nabi Azad has a zeal to do something for this country and that will always make him do things. He will add value to every place he goes, PM Modi added.

Azad while remembering the same incident, just two days after he became J&K Chief Minister, said “this was the terrorists’ way of welcoming the CM and at the airport, when I reached one child who had lost his family members grabbed my legs and I too cried loudly – ‘Oh God, what have you done? How will I answer these children, these people who came to visit and were on a leisure trip and are going back with bodies.”

A visibly moved Azad during his speech said that he prays that militancy is finished in the country.

Azad said he was always supported by Kashmiri Pandits and during his tenure as Chief Minister he had said no one would work in partisan ways.

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