The Rajya Sabha witnessed some intense emotional moments on Tuesday as four members of the Upper House of Parliament bid farewell. First, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in tears during his speech praising Ghulam Nabi Azad. Shortly after the PM's address, the veteran Congress leader too turned emotional while during his farewell speech.
"I have known Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad for years. We were Chief Ministers together. We had interacted even before I became Chief Minister, when Azad Sahab was very much in active politics. He has a passion not many know about - gardening," PM Modi said.
Recalling a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, PM Modi said Azad was the first one to inform him about the incident.
"I will never forget Ghulam Nabi Azad’s efforts and Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s efforts when people from Gujarat were stuck in Kashmir due to a terror attack. Ghulam Nabi Ji was constantly following up, he sounded as concerned as if those stuck were his own family members," a teary-eyed PM said. He took a brief break, had some water to continue his speech heaping praise of Azad.
"My doors are always open for you. I will not let you retire," the prime minister said amid loud thumping of desks from the members of the House.
Proud to be a Hindustani Muslim: Azad
Thanking PM Modi, Ghulam Nabi Azad recounted his long political journey from his region of Jammu and Kashmir to New Delhi. Azad said he feels proud to be a Hindustani Muslim.
"I am among those fortunate people who never went to Pakistan. When I read about circumstances in Pakistan, I feel proud to be a Hindustani Muslim," Azad said.
Besides Azad, three more MPs Shamsher Singh (BJP), Nazir Ahmed Laway and Mohammad Fayaz, both from PDP, retired from Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.