Ghulam Nabi Azad on PM:”We’re political rivals but I appreciate that he doesn’t hide his true self”
A day after sharing stage with G-23 leaders, Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today added grist to political speculations about developments within the grand old party when he minced no words to hail Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his what he described as being straightforward for his roots and ground realities.He said, I feel proud of such leaders who do’nt conceal their roots.
Addressing a function in J& K, Mr Azad said he appreciates a lot of things about many leaders. I’m from the village & feel proud… Even our PM hails from village & used to sell tea. We’re political rivals but I appreciate that he doesn’t hide his true self. Those who do, are living in a bubble.
Ghulam Nabi Azad said He has visited a large number of countries and places ,lived in seven stars , five stars hotels and mingled with top people ,but when he visits his villlage and sits with locals than real frgrance of persoanl bonhomie wafts though they( villagers ) will not be having very clean and costly clothes.
Soon after , Mr Azad comments were reported, social media is replete with reactions both in favouyr and against his comments that came just after a day when the G-23 leaderes , who had raised voice agaist style of functioninfg opf the party leadership duriong sucxh a difficult time.Yesterday, Former Union Minister Kapl Sibal had said he feels that the Party is geeting weak.
Azad was the seniormost among the group of 23 leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi three months ago demanding a full-time party President and revamp of the organization. This had set off reactions in the party dubbing them as rebels. A CWC meeting was called to discuss the letter and steps initiated to make amends.
Many in the party feel the issue is likely to snowball with several senior leaders not taking kindly to Azad’s repeated jibe at the leadership.
In special write up recently ,Senior Journalist Devsagar Singh had written:
“Advantage of Being Ghulam Nabi Azad: Tongues wagging in political circles
Senior Congressman and outgoing Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, hogged political limelight last week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a tearful farewell to him from the Upper House. Tongues have since started wagging if Azad was shifting sides.
According to a senior Congress leader and Azad’s contemporary, now in the dumps, there is speculation the Government is eying on him for the Vice-President’s post. Some others said the development put the Congress leadership in a fix though it had now concluded that what happened in the Rajya Sabha was “an event management”.
Clearly, Azad will now be on watch—both in the ruling and the opposition camp. For Congress, he is of immediate concern. Azad will now be out of the Rajya Sabha and there is no word about his return to the Upper House in the short run. The only seat falling vacant in the Rajya Sabha from the UPA camp—in Kerala—goes to the Indian Union Muslim League. The IUML, according to o reports, was willing to give it to ally Congress only if Ghulam Nabi Azad got the same. As of now, there has been no word from the Congress which, even before Azad’s formal retirement, announced his successor. Mallikarjun Kharge will now be the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
Azad reportedly incurred the wrath of the top leadership after he, at the top of 22 others, wrote to Sonia Gandhi a few months seeking restructuring in the party to make it effective. Rahul Gandhi , it is said, did not take kindly to the move which embarrassed the top leadership. Azad’s deputy in the Rajya Sabha, senior party leader, and former cabinet minister Anand Sharma, who was also a signatory, too lost out in the process. If he was looking for promotion as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, he was clearly disappointed.
Being a very senior leader in the hierarchy, Azad may have fewer options. The much-awaited AICC session is coming soon where the party is to elect its President and members of the all-powerful working committee (CWC). Azad and 22 of his colleagues have been openly asking for elections to all top posts, something which is an anathema in the Congress. Will Azad and friends stick to their demands? If the party’s past history is anything to go by, it is unlikely. Azad’s exit from the Rajya Sabha without the party making any arrangement for him is a signal to others. Besides, it is known that another group of top Congress leaders, including Dr. Manmohan Singh, A.K.Antony, P. Chidambaram and Digvijay Singh are opposed to any pressure tactics in the party and fully back Sonia Gandhi.
Being a senior leader from J and K is an additional advantage for Azad, seen from the perspective of the ruling BJP. It is said the BJP and the Government will give a red carpet welcome to him if he chooses to shift side. The Prime Minister’s silent proximity to him now becoming obvious will have a whole new meaning if Azad plays ball. For the Government and the BJP, J and K will remain top in the agenda. Azad will be a pillar if he is roped in.”
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