GHULAM Nabi Azad, an Opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha, is one politician who has always been important ever since he joined politics. He knows how to sail even in rough weather. He has been Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir and a Member of Parliament from Maharashtra. Azad’s forte is his organisational skills, having been AICC general secretary for a record nine times and a member of the powerful Congress Working Committee for 18 years. He has been a minister in the cabinets of Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.
His fourth term in the Rajya Sabha ends on February 10, 2015. In all probability, the Congress will not be able to muster the number of MLAs in the Legislative Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir in the forthcoming assembly elections of 2014 to send Azad to the Rajya Sabha. So how will he manage? Sources disclosed that he has an important chela in Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat who would not mind obliging his mentor. Reports from Uttarakhand disclose that there is local opposition to nominating an outsider. But the Congress has never cared for local opinions so Azad may again cross the hurdle. Thank God for such party traditions.