Sidelined by the Gandhi household, senior Congress chief Ghulam Nabi Azad was seen taking yet one more step in a path that can deliver him a lot closer to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. In what appeared to be a uncommon event, the Modi government on Saturday rolled out the red carpet for Azad whereas inviting him to a gala cultural event 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 event, the place Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Minister of State (Independent Charge) Jitendra Singh welcomed the veteran Congressman, who was just lately praised for his statesmanship by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the farewell speech for the outgoing MPs within the Rajya Sabha.
Saturday’s event was the second such incident in a collection when the Modi government 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. A number of 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 event organised by the Modi government had been seen for the primary time within the nationwide capital. The viewers on the Ambedkar Centre had been shocked 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 event titled “Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat”, a ‘Mushaira’ (Urdu poetry recital) organised by the government, formally acknowledged Azad as a visitor of honour. Most of the Urdu poets, together with Waseem Barelvi, a widely known persona within the Urdu literary world, additionally praised the Congress chief. Several different poets additionally talked about Azad’s identify from the dais and addressed their poetic recitals to him.
While the Congress has not given any essential duty to Azad since he retired from the Rajya Sabha, Saturday’s Mushaira is now being seen as an event which appears to have introduced Azad closer in direction of the BJP.
“Azad sahab is an actual statesman, he may very well be the face of the BJP within the Valley in close to future. An individual like him instructions respect throughout social gathering strains,” mentioned a BJP functionary current on 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 pal” and won’t let him retire, and can proceed taking his recommendation.
Modi mentioned it might be troublesome 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 within the nation’s public life”, and somebody who “speaks softly however conveys his viewpoint successfully”.
Modi’s emotional speech for Azad had led to hypothesis that the veteran Congress chief, sidelined by his social gathering excessive command, may be a part of the ruling social gathering in days to come.
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