SENIOR Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s nephew Mubashir Azad joined the BJP on Sunday and said he was “influenced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s developmental works at the ground level”. Mubashir Azad, the son of Ghulam Nabi Azad’s youngest brother Liaqat Ali, also said his uncle was “disrespected” by the Congress leadership which hurt him and led to him parting ways with the grand old party.
He, however, claimed that he did not discuss the plan to join the BJP with his uncle. Mubashir Azad and his supporters were welcomed into the party fold by Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina and other senior leaders, including ex-MLA Daleep Singh Parihar. His joining the saffron party was described Raina as a “turning point” that will pave the way for more young activists from the Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts of the Chenab Valley region to join the party. “The BJP is growing fast with the joining of political leaders from opposition parties, social workers from all communities whether Hindus, Muslims, Gujjars, Bakarwals and Paharis,” he said.
In April 2009, Azad’s brother Ghulam Ali had also joined the BJP. Mubashir Azad said, “The (Congress) party is marred in infighting... while under the leadership of Modi the work for the welfare of the people is taking place on the ground.” “The way the Congress treated (Ghulam Nabi) Azad, one of the charismatic leaders of the party and former Chief Minister, has hurt the sentiments of the common masses. “He was praised by the Prime Minister for his service to the nation but was sidelined by the party,” Mubashir said. Azad was part of the G-23, a group of dissenting Congress leaders who wrote to party President Sonia Gandhi in August 2020 demanding an organisational overhaul.