Modi govt rolls out red carpet for Azad at official event; Congress stalwart moves closer to BJP

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Image Source : PTI

Congress chief Ghulam Nabi Azad

Sidelined by the Gandhi household, senior Congress chief Ghulam Nabi Azad was seen taking another step in a route that may carry him a lot closer to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. In what appeared to be a uncommon event, the Modi authorities on Saturday rolled out the red carpet for Azad whereas inviting him to a gala cultural occasion organised by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs.

Colourful posters and banners of the Congress stalwart had been put up throughout the Ambedkar International Centre, the venue of the occasion, the place Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Minister of State (Independent Charge) Jitendra Singh welcomed the veteran Congressman, who was lately praised for his statesmanship by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the farewell speech for the outgoing MPs within the Rajya Sabha.

Saturday’s occasion was the second such incident in a sequence when the Modi authorities showered praises on Azad, who up until now’s seen as a dissenter by the Rahul Gandhi camp.

Once a diehard Rajiv Gandhi loyalist, Azad was not given one other time period within the Upper House. Just a few days again, Mallikarjun Kharge, thought-about to be shut to the Gandhi household, was appointed because the Leader of Opposition within the Rajya Sabha rather than Azad.

Posters of a Congress chief at an occasion organised by the Modi authorities had been seen for the primary time within the nationwide capital. The viewers at the Ambedkar Centre had been stunned to see Azad seated alongside Jitendra Singh and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi within the VVIP entrance row. Incidentally, Singh and Azad each hail from Jammu and Kashmir.

The occasion titled “Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat”, a ‘Mushaira’ (Urdu poetry recital) organised by the federal government, formally acknowledged Azad as a visitor of honour. Most of the Urdu poets, together with Waseem Barelvi, a widely known character within the Urdu literary world, additionally praised the Congress chief. Several different poets additionally talked about Azad’s title from the dais and addressed their poetic recitals to him.

While the Congress has not given any vital duty to Azad since he retired from the Rajya Sabha, Saturday’s Mushaira is now being seen as an occasion which appears to have introduced Azad closer in the direction of the BJP.

“Azad sahab is a real statesman, he could be the face of the BJP in the Valley in near future. A person like him commands respect across party lines,” mentioned a BJP functionary current at the auditorium.

Earlier on February 9, Prime Minister Modi bid a tearful farewell to the Congress veteran, saying that he revered Azadji as a “true friend” and won’t let him retire, and can proceed taking his recommendation.

Modi mentioned it will be tough for Azad’s successor within the Rajya Sabha to match him as he has set very excessive requirements as an MP and because the Leader of the Opposition.

Vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu additionally described Azad as a “voice of sanity in the nation’s public life”, and somebody who “speaks softly but conveys his point of view effectively”.

Modi’s emotional speech for Azad had led to hypothesis that the veteran Congress chief, sidelined by his occasion excessive command, may be a part of the ruling occasion in days to come.

ALSO READ : Opinion | Why Congress shouldn’t let Ghulam Nabi Azad retire

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