Azad lauds PM for being frank on his past as tea-seller

Ghulam Nabi Azad lauds PM for being 'frank' about his past as tea-seller

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said a person should not try to hide his background from the world

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. Credit: PTI File Photo

A day after voicing concern over a ‘weak’ Congress, party veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday showered praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being proud of his roots and cautioned leaders against “living in a bubble”.

Addressing a felicitation programme organised by the Gujjar Desh Charitable Trust, Azad also appreciated the prime minister for not hiding his true self, a quality that sets him apart from others.

Read | Ghulam Nabi Azad has major role to play in coming months, says Congress

“I, myself, had come from a village and I am proud of being a villager. I admire a lot of things about leaders like our prime minister who also says that he was from a village. He used to sell tea,” Azad said.

“We may be rivals but I appreciate he doesn't hide his true self,” said Azad, who completed his tenure as Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha recently.

Congress has chosen to watch the moves of the dissenters and has refrained from making any harsh comments. However, the young leaders considered close to Rahul Gandhi have not shown restraint.

Also Read | Retired from Rajya Sabha not politics, will continue my fight for J&K statehood: Ghulam Nabi Azad

“Dear Ghulam Nabi Azadji you can praise Modi Ji as much as you want. But please remember he tore Kashmir into pieces. This is the state and its people who made what you have been for decades along with Congress,” Jothimani, a first-term Lok Sabha member from Karur in Tamil Nadu said.

In a farewell address to Azad and others who completed their tenures in the Rajya Sabha, Modi had choked up when he shared anecdotes about the veteran Congress leader.

On Sunday, Azad hailed the Prime Minister as a “grounded person” and had a word of caution for persons hiding their true self.

“If you hide your true self then you are living in a bubble or an imaginary world,” the former J&K chief minister said without making any reference to any person in particular.

The remarks came a day after a group of dissenters within the Congress, led by Azad, on Saturday said the party was “getting weaker” across the country.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox