In his first press briefing after resigning from Congress, Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday lauded PM Modi while attacking Congress for alleging that he is close to BJP. When he quit the party on August 26, Azad sent a stinging 5-page resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi calling out Rahul Gandhi for dismantling the consultative mechanism, exercising power without responsibility and sidelining senior leaders. The former J&K CM alleged that he was targeted by Congress as he became an eyesore owing to his association with G23.
Ghulam Nabi Azad remarked, “The people who have fulfilled the dream of Narendra Modi have joined hands with Narendra Modi and BJP, not me. What had PM Modi said? Congress-mukt Bharat. Those people who helped him achieve Congress-mukt Bharat have joined hands with Modi not me. Those people who hug him after making a speech in front of the entire world and say that we have nothing against you and our heart is clear- has he (Rahul Gandhi) joined hands with (PM Modi) or me?”
Taking a swipe at Congress communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh who jibed that Azad’s DNA had been ‘Modi-fied’, he opined, “People in my party are not that educated. The person who is talking about DNA is not a member of the Congress party. He has not worked at the block or district level. He became a Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP just to plant this story. No one knows what the DNA of his party is. No one knows which state and district he belongs to. He was a freelancer till some years ago.”
Explaining the context in which the PM praised him during his farewell in Rajya Sabha, the former Congress leader stated, “He (PM Modi) showed humanity. When I was the CM of Kashmir, a grenade burst inside a vehicle. So, people died on the spot. Some people lost a leg, others sustained injuries. When the CM of Gujarat called, I was crying. He heard the sound of my crying”. “Neither he cried for me nor I cried for him. We both cried while remembering the sad incident in which the people of Gujarat were killed. People in my party are so illiterate that they started spreading canards since that day,” he added.
PM Modi’s emotional speech in Rajya Sabha
On February 9, 2021, PM Modi bid an emotional farewell to Ghulam Nabi Azad whose term in the Rajya Sabha was coming to an end. During his address, the PM recalled their interaction after a grenade was lobbed by terrorists at a bus carrying tourists from Gujarat in J&K in 2006. Azad, who was serving as the CM, immediately called Modi after the incident. Talking about their conversation, the PM mentioned that the then Congress leader’s tears would not stop. Afterwards, Azad called him from the aircraft when the bodies of the terror victims were sent back and stayed in touch till the plane landed in Gujarat.
A teary-eyed PM Modi recalled, “When you were the Chief Minister, I also served as the Chief Minister of a state. In that period, we were very close. You can hardly find an incident where we had no contact. There are many people from Gujarat among the tourists that visit Jammu and Kashmir. On one occasion, terrorists attacked them. At least 8 people died. The first call I received was from Ghulam Nabi Azad. His tears were not stopping on the phone.”
“At that time, Pranab Mukherjee was the Defence Minister. I called him and asked whether the aircraft of the forces can be made available to ferry the dead body. It was very late. (Pranab) Mukherjee Sahab said that I will make the arrangement. On that night, Ghulam Nabi Ji again called me from the airport. He was worried about them akin to how someone is worried about one’s family members,” he elaborated.