New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday got emotional while bidding farewell to senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in the Rajya Sabha. Azad, the Leader of Opposition, is one among the four members retiring from the Upper House this month.
The Prime Minister, while referring to Azad’s contribution to the politics and the House, said: “You are retiring from the House, but I will not let you retire and my doors are open for you and will need your contribution and advice.”
Modi said the person who will replace Azad will have a tough task to match his contribution. “He is concerned about his party but more about the House and the country,” said Modi.
Prime Minister Modi remembered his relations with the Congress leader when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Modi said, “When there was an attack on Gujarati tourists in Kashmir, Azad was the first to inform him and was almost crying.”
The Chairman of the House M.Venkaiah Naidu too said that Azad was retiring from the House but not from the public service and he hoped that ‘he gets reelected soon to the House’.
Speaking on the occasion, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar said that Azad was the most experienced leader of the country and handled so many ministries. He also said that he has uplifted the position of the Leader of Opposition in the House.
“When he was the parliamentary affairs minister he had good relations with the opposition and all other political parties,” said Pawar.
Azad is set to retire on February 15 and will demit the post of the Leader of Opposition in the Upper House. The terms of two Peoples Democratic Party MPs — Nazir Ahmed Laway and Mir Mohammed Fayaz — will end on February 10 and 15, respectively, while Azad’s term ends on February 15 and BJP’s Shamsher Singh Manhas’ term ends on February 10.