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Ghulam Nabi Azad spoke on question of friendship with Modi and joining BJP

The leader of the Indian National Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad, while replying to the speculation about life in the BJP, has said that when there will be black snow in Kashmir, he will go to the BJP.

In an interview published in Hindustan Times Ghulam Nabi Azad’s term in Rajya Sabha ends on Monday. He has been a member of Parliament for four decades.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also became emotional while speaking during the farewell of Nabi Azad, a slave in Parliament.

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Regarding his relationship with Prime Minister Modi, Azad said, ‘We have known each other since the 90s. We were both general secretaries and we used to participate in the TV debate representing the opposition ideology. We also used to fight in the debate. But when we reached early, we used to drink tea and talk together. Later both of us were identified with each other as Chief Ministers and we used to talk on some issue in ten to fifteen days.

Referring to the emotional sentiment of the Prime Minister, he said, ‘When both of us were crying, it was not because we knew each other well but because it was on the bus of Gujarati tourists in Kashmir in 2006. I was attacked, I started crying while talking to them. The Prime Minister was saying that such a person is retiring who is also a good person. He could not fulfill that point because he got emotional and then when I wanted to complete that thing, I could not because I felt that I had reached the same time fourteen years ago when the bus was attacked.

When Azad was asked if this sentiment of the Prime Minister would be understood by the common people of Kashmir, he said, ‘I think this will not affect the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. The entire population of Kashmir is not only worried about Article 370. Making the state a union territory was not on the BJP’s agenda. And many people have been saddened by the division of the state. We have been made ashes. I have seen the union territory becoming a state and my own state, which is one of the oldest and largest states in the country, has been made a UT. Nobody will tolerate this.

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Congress leader Shashi Tharoor called the Prime Minister’s sentiment in Parliament a “deliberate drama”. On this Azad said, ‘I don’t know in which context, and many people don’t know its background. Many people would have thought that the Prime Minister must be doing a drama because why would he worry about a Congressman. As I said, the words he used were for me, but the context of our feelings was different.

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When Azad was asked about his speculation about joining the BJP, he said, “When there is black snow in Kashmir, I will go to the BJP.” But why BJP, this will be the day when I will go to any party. People who are saying this or spreading rumors do not know me.

Azad said, ‘When Rajmata Scindia was the Leader of Opposition, then she stood up and made some allegations against me. I stood up and said that I take allegations very seriously, and on behalf of the government, I suggest to form a committee under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in which he and LK Advani ji are also members. 

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I said that they should complete the investigation in fifteen days and punish those who are justified. I will accept I had named Vajpayee so he came and asked why. When I told him, he stood up and said in Parliament that I apologize to the Parliament and to the slave Prophet Azad. May be Rajmata Scindia does not know him but I know him.

In the interview Azad was also asked about the Congress party’s opinion on his retirement. He said, ‘The party president has written a long letter praising my work. He has said that we have to work together to strengthen the organization, after that I have met him. They have said that we have to prepare for elections.

Azad meanwhile has also met Rahul Gandhi twice. When asked about the statement of Hindustani Muslim, he said, ‘I said in my speech at AMU that the atmosphere of the country has changed so much that earlier 99 percent of the candidates used to call me in their election campaign but now the number of invitations is 40% It has remained. 

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My message was also to the alumni present there. I told him that you have to be the ambassador and bring back that old India in which I contested in 1979 from the seat of Maharashtra on which 95 percent of the Hindu voters were. I had a Hindu candidate against the Janata Party, but I still won.

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