“I Thought PM Modi A Crude Man, But…”: Ghulab Nabi Azad On Tears In Parliament


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Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from Congress while casting doubts on Rahul Gandhi’s political maturity. (File)

New Delhi:

Former union minister Ghulab Nabi Azad today explained why Prime Minister Narendra Modi teared up in Parliament during a farewell speech when Mr Azad’s Rajya Sabha tenure ended last year. The tears have been making news again ever since Mr Azad left the Congress last week.

“Read the contents of his speech. PM Modi was not talking about being sad at my leaving the House. He was talking about an incident,” said Mr Azad.

“Some tourists from Gujarat had died in a grenade attack in Kashmir, when I was chief minister there. Modi saheb, who was chief minister of Gujarat, called my office. But I was choked up, crying at how brutal the killings were. I could not speak with him. He heard me crying as my staff brought the phone close to me,” he recounted, “I told my staff I would speak him later, after making arrangements to collect the bodies.”

“He kept calling my office for updates on the killings. When he saw me distraught on TV, as I was seeing off the two planes carrying the bodies and those injured, he called again. I could not speak then again. Families of the victims were howling. I had started weeping too,” he said, speaking reporters. 

Mr Azad has been facing allegations by the Congress — that he’s being controlled by the BJP — ever since he left the party after an association of five decades, casting serious aspersions on its leader Rahul Gandhi.

“I used to think Modi saheb must be a crude man,” Mr Azad added, speaking to reporters about the crying episode, “I thought he won’t care… since he does not have a wife or any kids. But, at least, he showed humanity.”

Earlier, speaking to LOKJANTA STAFF, he said he would form his own party — starting with Jammu and Kashmir, where elections are likely by early next year — and declared that he will not do any business with the BJP. Citing differences over ideology, he said the BJP and he have “different vote banks”, so “there is no question” of working together.

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