'Used to think PM Modi is crude... but he showed humanity': Ghulam Nabi Azad

Updated on Aug 29, 2022 04:07 PM IST

Ghulam Nabi Azad had an acrimonious exit from the Congress last week.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at Parliament House Complex. Azad resigned from all party positions, including its primary membership, on Friday.(PTI)
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at Parliament House Complex. Azad resigned from all party positions, including its primary membership, on Friday.(PTI)
By, New Delhi

Veteran Jammu and Kashmir leader Ghulam Nabi Azad - referring to Prime Minister Modi - on Monday said he had a wrong perception of the leader of the country earlier. “I used to think PM Modi is a crude man… that he does not have children, but he showed humanity,” the 73-year-old former union minister said. “When I was the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir… a grenade exploded inside a bus, and it had led to casualties, to an extent that bodies were dismembered,” he recalled.

“Modi Sahab - he was the Gujarat CM at the time - dialled me up. But I was crying. I told my officials that I could not speak. I think he heard me crying. I said my people wanted me,” Azad told reporters.

“I told the PM that I needed two planes - one for those injured and one for those who had died. Later, when I had met those who were affected when I went to see off those injured, they shared their pain with me , I cried yet again,” Azad shared. “That was also captured in TV news visuals, and the Gujarat CM (Modi) called me up again.”

Last week, the Congress had faced a huge setback when Azad wrote a five-page resignation in which he lashed out at Rahul Gandhi, spoke of his journey with the Congress over the last five decades, and also opened up the G-23 leaders.

Attacking the Congress yet again, days after his exit, Azad told reporters: “Modi is an excuse, they have had an issue with me since the G-23 letter was written.”

“They never wanted anyone to write to them, question them... Several (Congress) meetings happened, but not even a single suggestion was taken," he claimed Azad was one the 23 senior leaders who had written to Sonia Gandhi about two years ago on reforms needed within the party. The group came to be known as G-23.

Amid the buzz that he is set to float his new party, Azad was also asked if he would join forces with the BJP. "See Congress has illiterate people. The BJP cannot benefit from my vote base, and vice versa is true. People who understand J&K politics know this well." The union territory is likely to witness polls soon, in a first after Article 370 - that gave J&K special powers - was scrapped.

Could there be a post-poll alliance with the BJP? "Mine would not be the only party... there are other parties too," he said.

(With inputs from ANI)

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