New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, while bidding farewell to the 4 retiring members of the Rajya Sabha, broke in tears and struggled to speak during his speech. In an emotional way, PM Modi recalled his memories with Leader of Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, -- one of the 4 retiring members -- and said that whoever will replace him in the house will have difficulty in matching his works.

The Prime Minister, while referring to Azad's contribution to the politics and the House, said, "You are retiring from the House, but I will not let you retire and my doors are open for you and will need your contribution and advice."

In tears, PM Modi also called Ghulam Nabi Azad as his true friend and said that the veteran Congress leader is not just concerned about his party but also showed equal concerns about the country and the house throughout his career.

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"The person who will replace Ghulam Nabi ji (as Leader of Opposition) will have difficulty matching his work because he was not only concerned about his party but also about the country and the House", PM Modi said during the farewell speech for retiring members in Rajya Sabha.

"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 in active politics. He has a passion not many know about - gardening," PM Modi said.

PM Modi also remembered his relations with the Congress leader when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat and said, "I will never forget Shri Azad's efforts and Shri Pranab Mukherjee's efforts. There was a terrorist attack on pilgrims from Gujarat in Jammu and Kashmir. Ghulam Nabi Azad called me at first. The phone was not for the information, his tears were not stopping. He sounded concerned like people are concerned about their own family members".

That time Pranab Mukherjee was the defence minister and requested for Indian Air Force jet for transporting the body. He said that don't worry, we will figure out something. But, Ghulam Nabi called me again. He was at the airport," the PM added.

"Posts come, high office comes, power comes and how to handle these, one must learn from Ghulam Nabi Azad Ji. I would consider him a true friend," PM Modi concluded.

Ghulam Nabi Azad is set to retire on February 15 and will demit the post of the Leader of Opposition in the Upper House. The terms of two Peoples Democratic Party MPs -- Nazir Ahmed Laway and Mir Mohammed Fayaz -- will end on February 10 and 15, respectively, while BJP's Shamsher Singh Manhas' term ends on February 10.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan