Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. (PTI)

PM Modi gets emotional, gives tearful send off to Ghulam Nabi Azad

Narendra Modi also recalled several other occasions where the two opposing leaders had shared a laugh or bantered as they shared a special camaraderie in Parliament
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Zara Khan
UPDATED ON FEB 09, 2021 12:36 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi became emotional on Tuesday as he recalled the years he worked with outgoing leader of Opposition and veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.

“When a terrorist attack happened in Jammu and Kashmir, and Gujaratis on a pilgrimage were stranded, he (Azad) called me,” the PM said with tears in his eyes. “He cared for those people like you would care for a member of your family.”

Modi also recalled several other occasions where the two opposing leaders had shared a laugh or bantered as they shared a special camaraderie in Parliament. “Before I entered electoral politics, I met Ghulam Nabi Azad ji,” he said. “He told the reporters that while you may see us fight on TV debates, under the roof of this House, we are family.”

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Modi added that he valued Azad as a friend and his doors would always be open to the outgoing leader of Opposition. Azad is slated to retire on February 15.

ALSO WATCH | PM Modi tears up during farewell speech to Ghulam Nabi Azad



“Whoever takes over in his stead will have a problem; they will have to work really hard to fill his shoes,” Modi said.

Chairperson of Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu also bid farewell to four outgoing MPs from Jammu and Kashmir.

“Azad has been a voice of sanity for this nation,” Naidu said. “He has been a veteran of this House for 28 years. The House benefitted greatly from his contributions.”

The Rajya Sabha will have no representatives from Jammu and Kashmir by February 15, when the four Upper House members from the Union Territory (UT) carved out of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 complete their stints.

As the UT does not have an elected assembly at present, there will be no representatives in the upper chamber of Parliament until elections are held in J&K.

Two MPs from the Peoples Democratic Party, Nazir Ahmed Laway and Mir Mohammed Fayaz, will see their terms end on February 10 and 15, respectively. Azad will see his term end on February 15 and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Shamsher Singh Manhas, on February 10.

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