Vinod SharmaPrime Minister Narendra Modi is known for his distinct quality of heaping unexpected, impromptu and lavish praises on different opposition leaders inside Parliament, and, sometimes, at different public forums, which speaks volumes of PM’s sobriety, large-heartedness, leadership acumen, inclusiveness, graciousness and statesmanship to accord due recognition and applause for yeoman’s service, rising above party politics and strengthening the true spirit of democratic ideals and values.PM Modi’s emotional chord at the farewell of veteran Congress Parliamentarian and Leader of Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, in Rajya Sabha, while showering praise on outgoing member, is unique and extraordinary in the midst of the present-day general tendency of holding political animosity for petty politics considerations, which creates a chasm between the Government and the opposition.However, Prime Minister Modi is above all such political considerations. He doesn’t differentiate between treasury and opposition benches when it comes to acknowledging any praiseworthy work done by either the Government or the opposition. In his no-holds-barred praise on Azad, PM Modi got emotional and teary-eyed when he said, “The person who will replace Ghulam Nabi ji as Leader of Opposition will have difficult matching his work because he was not only concerned about his party but also concerned about country and the House”.There are very few and far occasions in the history of Indian polity when a Prime Minister gets so emotional on retirement of an MP of a rival party, which implies that PM Modi does not bear any political grudges of acrimonious scenes and uproars by the opposition members during course of the Parliament proceedings.Though PM’s largesse has resulted into an unending series of political speculations on future role of Ghulam Nabi Azad, a stalwart leader of Jammu and Kashmir, the happening is being viewed as a healthy and vibrant development which may further work for strengthening of true democratic values.It is not the first occasion when Prime Minister Modi has been so liberal in praising opposition leaders. Earlier also, he has had publically showered unprecedented and lavish praise on the then President Pranab Mukherjee, another Congress stalwart, at book launch function of President, saying, “I am fortunate that I got the opportunity to work with the President. I got the privilege to set myself in the national capital under the guidance of the President”.Showering praise on Mukherjee, the Prime Minister had said, “The Presidency is much more than protocol. Through the photographs in the book, we see the human side of our President and we feel proud. I am saying this from deep within”.“Modiji, you will have to rest for half day, Pranab da would say”, PM said on the occasion quoting Pranab Mukherjee, “Why are you running around so much; you must cut down on your programmes. You will have to take care of your health”. It may be mentioned here that the same NDA Government honoured Pranab Mukherjee with India’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, in 2019, after he demitted office of the President.Similarly, ahead of Bihar assembly election in August 2015, Prime Minister Modi, took everyone by surprise when he heaped lavish praise in a public rally on the then Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, saying, “He has spent his entire life for upliftment of poor, dalits, deprived, backwards and extremely backwards”. The praise had raised a political stir at that time as Kovind was given the new assignment of Bihar Governor in those days despite protest of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-who was not an NDA ally then-saying that State Government was not consulted before his appointment in violation of Sarkaria Commission recommendations.Nitish Kumar had also protested against NDA leaders raising new Governor’s dalit background to perk up the party’s chance in coming Bihar assembly election. However, PM’s praise and benevolence culminated in Kovind’s elevation as President of India as NDA nominee in 2017, after serving nearly two years as Governor of Bihar.(To be continued)
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