New Delhi : The market of speculation about Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad retiring from Rajya Sabha is hot. Ghulam Nabi Azad’s more than four-decade-long political career in Parliament ends on Monday. However, there is speculation that he may join the BJP. But Ghulam Nabi Azad has answered these questions in a special conversation with the Hindustan. Also, he has explained in detail how his relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi are. So let’s know the edited excerpt of Ghulam Nabi Azad’s interview.
Question: There is speculation that you can join BJP?
On speculation about joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that I will join BJP when we have black snow in Kashmir. Why BJP, that day I will join any other party as well. Those who say this or spread these rumors do not know me.
When Rajmata Scindia was the Leader of the Opposition, she stood up and made some allegations on me. I got up and said that I take the charge very seriously and on behalf of the government I would like to suggest a committee, which will be headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and will consist of Rajmata Scindia and LK Advani as members.
I said that they should complete the report in 15 days and whatever punishment they suggest, I will accept it. On hearing his name, Vajpayee came to me and asked why. When I told him why, he stood up and said- I want to apologize to the House and Ghulam Nabi Azad. Perhaps Rajmata Scindia does not know him (Azad), but I do.
Question: What did the people of your own party say when your term ends?
The party president wrote a long letter and praised my work. He also said that we have to work together to strengthen the organization. He said that we have to prepare for the election.
Question: Can you tell about your relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi?
We have known each other since the 90s. We were both general secretaries and we used to come in TV debates representing different views. We also fought ideologically in debates. But, if we arrived early for an interview, we would drink a cup of tea together and chat. Later we came to know each other more from the meeting of Chief Ministers, Prime Minister’s meetings, Home Minister’s meetings. Then he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat and I was the Health Minister and we used to talk on different issues every 10-15 days.
Question: Why did you and the PM cry in Rajya Sabha?
The two of us were not crying because we did not know each other, but it was because a Gujarati tourist bus was attacked in Kashmir in 2006 and I got emotional talking to him and started crying. The Prime Minister was saying that a leader is retiring here, who is also a good person. He could not complete the story because he got emotional and when I wanted to complete the story, I couldn’t either because I felt that I was back at that moment 14 years ago, when the attack took place.