PM Modi on Tuesday got emotional during a farewell to Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad as he wished the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister the best for his future endeavours.
PM Modi shared an anecdote from the time when he was Gujarat CM and Azad had called him to inform him of a terror attack on Gujarat pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir. He also remembered former President Pranab Mukherjee with whom he shared a close relationship.
“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 own family members,” PM Modi said.
Lavishing praises on the senior Congress leader, PM Modi said he had known Azad even before he became the Gujarat chief minister, stating that he won’t let him retire from active politics and would continue to seek his advice on important matters.
“I have known Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad for years. We were Chief Ministers together. We had interacted even before I became CM when Azad Sahab was very much in active politics. He has a passion not many know about – gardening,” PM Modi said.
“I won’t let you [Ghulam Nabi Azad] retire, will continue taking your advice. My doors are always open for you,” an emotional PM Modi said in Rajya Sabha.
“Posts come, the high office comes, power comes and how to handle these, one must learn from Ghulam Nabi Azad Ji. I would consider him a true friend,” PM Modi further said.
Fighting hard to control his emotions, PM Modi said it would be difficult for the replacement of Ghulam Nabi Azad to fill in his shoes as the former J&K CM was not only concerned about his party but also about the country and the House. “I am sure that his kindness, calmness and drive to perform for the nation will always keep him going. He will always add value to whatever he does,” said the PM.
PM Modi’s praises for Ghulam Nabi Azad came a day after he lauded the veteran Congress leader for his words on Jammu and Kashmir and local polls conducted recently. For over two decades, Azad has been the face of the Congress party in Rajya Sabha. He is all set to retire on February 15, in less than a week’s time.