When emotions choked in parliament: Indian democracy proved it  

Manushree MA

New Delhi: Indian democracy proved its vibrancy when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi choked up and struggled to speak in parliament during a farewell to a rival politician, Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad. In turn, Ghulam Nabi Azad also bid a tearful adieu to parliamentarians.

PM Modi heaped praise on the Congress veteran who sat across him in the Rajya Sabha, and teared up as he shared an episode when they were both Chief Ministers – of Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir. “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 active in politics. He has a passion not many know about – gardening,”

PM Modi said. He referred to a 2007 terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir on visitors from Gujarat. Mr Azad was the first to call him to inform him about the incident. The Prime Minister said Mr Azad’s tears would not stop. “I will never forget Shri Azad’s efforts and Pranab Mukherjee’s efforts when people from Gujarat were stuck in Kashmir due to a terror attack. That night…Ghulam Nabi Ji called me…,” he recalled, fighting tears, and paused for water. “He sounded concerned like people are concerned about their own family members. That is the kind of feeling he showed.”

As the Prime Minister stopped to gather himself, there was loud desk-thumping. “Power comes and goes. But how to handle it…,” PM Modi broke off again and saluted him, letting that gesture speak more than words. However, After several opposition leaders, including Shashi Tharoor, termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi crying during his farewell speech for Ghulam Nabi Azad ‘artfully crafted performance’, the Congress leader on Thursday said most of the people didn’t know the background.

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