Ghulam Nabi Azad (born 7 March 1949) is an Indian politician of the Indian National Congress and was the Minister of Health and Family Welfare. Presently, he serves as the Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha.He has served as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister of India in the government of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh until 27 October 2005, when he was appointed as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He also led the party successfully in the 2002 Assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir.
Gulam Nabi Azad was born in a village called Soti of tehsil Gandoh (Bhalessa) in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district. His parents were Rahamatullah Bhatt and Basa Begum. He attended the local school in his village.Later for higher studies he moved to Jammu and received his bachelor's of Science degree from G.G.M. Science College. Further more he also received a Master's in Zoology degree from the University of Kashmir ,Srinagar in1972.
Azad started his political career soon after working as the secretary for the Block Congress Committee in Bhalessa in 1973. Two years later, he was nominated as the President of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Youth Congress. In 1980, he was appointed as the President of the All-India Youth Congress.
After being elected to the Seventh Lok Sabha from Maharashtra's Washim (Lok Sabha constituency) in 1980, Azad entered into the Central government as Deputy Minister in charge of Law, Justice and Company Affairs Ministry in 1982.
Subsequently, he was elected to the Eighth Lok Sabha in 1984 and was a member (1990 - 1996) from Maharashtra in Rajya Sabha. During Rao's government, Azad took charge of Parliamentary Affairs and Civil Aviation ministries. He was subsequently elected to Rajya Sabha from Jammu and Kashmir during the term of 30/11/1996 to 29/11/2002 and 30/11/2002 to 29/11/2008, but resigned on 29/04/2006 as he became Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on 2 November 2005.
Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
In June 2008, Azad's government announced plans to transfer land to the board of a Hindu shrine. Many Muslims were angered by this decision and protested, leading the government to cancel the transfer; however, this reversal provoked Hindu protests. Seven people were reported killed in violence that accompanied these protests. The People's Democratic Party, a coalition partner of the Indian National Congress in Jammu and Kashmir, withdrew its support for Azad's government, and rather than attempt to sustain his government by requesting a vote of confidence, Azad resigned on 7 July 2008, and later left office on 11 July 2008.
In the second United Progressive Alliance Government, led by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Azad, was sworn in as the Health Minister of India. He was elected to Rajya Sabha for 4th term and 3rd term from Jammu and Kashmir during the term of 30/11/1996 to 29/11/2002. He vowed to expand the National Rural Health Mission, which has mobilized half a million health workers, all across India, and later his ministry also launched a National Urban Health Mission, to serve the slum dwelling urban poor.
He has suggested a late marriage age of between 25 and 30 for population control, and has said that lack of electricity & thereby absence of TV entertainment in rural areas will cause people to produce more children.
Leader of opposition
In June 2014, after the National Democratic Alliance won a majority in the Lok Sabha and formed the Union government, Azad was appointed as the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, where Congress still held the majority.
In 2015, Azad got re-elected to the Rajya Sabha from Jammu and Kashmir, despite the PDP-BJP alliance holding a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly.
Kidnapping of kin
Between June 1991 and January 1993 Azad was union parliamentary affair minister. His brother-in-law Tassaduq Dev was kidnapped by Al Umar Mujahideen in January 1992. Three jailed Islamic terrorists of Al Umar were released in exchange for Dev on January 17.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ghulam Nabi Azad.|
- Ghulam Nabi Azad at Rajyasabha.nic.in
|Preceded by |
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
| Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir |
Vacant (Governor's Rule)
|Preceded by |
| Minister of Health and Family Welfare |
|Preceded by |
| Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha |