New Delhi, Jan 27: Former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, was conferred with Padma Bhushan award by the Modi Government on 26th January. His party colleague as well as ‘G-23’ colleague Kapil Sibal has displayed his astonishment towards this course of the event.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on January 26 took a dig at his party while congratulating his colleague Ghulam Nabi Azad for being conferred with Padma Bhushan on the 73rd Republic Day eve.
The former Union minister said it was ironic that the Congress does not need Azad’s services when the nation recognizes his contributions to public life, referring to the internal turmoil within the Congress with many top leaders leaving the grand old party.
“Ghulam Nabi Azad conferred Padam Bhushan. Congratulations bhaijan. Ironic that Congress doesn’t need his services when the nation recognizes his contributions to public life,” tweeted Sibal, one of the members of the G-23 group that wrote to Sonia Gandhi, in August 2020, seeking "visible and full-time" leadership and collective decision-making in the party.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and veteran Congress politician Azad were conferred with Padma Bhushan on January 25 for his contribution in the field of public affairs.
Azad, a member of the G-23 group, was on January 24, included in the list of star campaigners for Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls by the Congress party.
Sibal has been among the most vocal leaders in Congress party raising the issues, including a string of resignations. On January 25, another senior leader and former Union Minister RPN Singh quit the party and shifted to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Sibal had last year accused the party of moving on with its "eyes wide shut" as young leaders quit.
The string of resignations in Congress began two years ago with the exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia. Since then, the party has been facing an internal crisis.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, however, took a jibe at Azad. Referring to former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's refusal to accept the Padma Bhushan, Ramesh said it was the right thing to do as the communist leader wants to be "Azad, and not Ghulam".