Ghulam Nabi Azad

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Ghulam Nabi Azad
Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha
In office
8 June 2014 (2014-06-08) – 15 February 2021 (2021-02-15)[1]
ChairmanMohammad Hamid Ansari
Venkaiah Naidu
Preceded byArun Jaitley
Succeeded byMallikarjun Kharge
Minister of Health and Family Welfare
In office
22 May 2009 (2009-05-22) – 26 May 2014 (2014-05-26)
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byAnbumani Ramadoss
Succeeded byHarsh Vardhan
7th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
In office
2 November 2005 (2005-11-02) – 11 July 2008 (2008-07-11)
GovernorSrinivas Kumar Sinha
Narinder Nath Vohra
Preceded byMufti Mohammad Sayeed
Succeeded byOmar Abdullah
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
In office
11 February 2009 (2009-02-11) – 15 February 2021 (2021-02-15)
Preceded bySaifuddin Soz
ConstituencyJammu and Kashmir
In office
30 November 1996 (1996-11-30) – 29 January 2006 (2006-01-29)
ConstituencyJammu and Kashmir
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
Preceded byVasantrao Naik
Succeeded byAnantrao Vithhalrao Deshmukh
Chairperson of Democratic Progressive Azad Party
Assumed office
26 September 2022
Preceded byPost Established
Personal details
Ghulam Nabi Bhatt

(1949-03-07) 7 March 1949 (age 74)
Bhalessa, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Political partyDemocratic Progressive Azad Party
Other political
Indian National Congress (1973–2022)
(m. 1980)
ChildrenSaddam Nabi Azad[2]
Sofiya Nabi Azad[3]
Alma mater
AwardsPadma Bhushan (2022)

Ghulam Nabi Azad (born 7 March 1949) is an Indian politician who served as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha between 2014 and 2021. He also served as the Chief Minister of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir from 2005 to 2008. On 26 September 2022, Azad announced his own political party as Democratic Progressive Azad Party. He is the chief patron cum founder of Democratic Progressive Azad Party.

Azad served as Minister of Health and Family Welfare.[4][5] He has served as the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Manmohan Singh government until 27 October 2005, when he was appointed as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. On 26 August 2022, Azad resigned from Indian National Congress and mulled creating a new party at the national level.[6]

He also led the party successfully in the 2002 Assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir. He was bestowed with the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, in 2022 by the Indian Government in the field of Public Affairs.[7]

Early life[edit]

Ghulam Nabi Azad was born in a village named Soti of Gandoh tehsil (Bhalessa) in the formerly princely state of Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district. His parents were Rahamatullah Batt 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.[8][9][10] Furthermore, he also received a Master's in Zoology degree from the University of Kashmir, Srinagar in 1972.[11]

Political career[edit]

Azad started his 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.[11]

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.[12] 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 November 1996 to 29 November 2002 and 30 November 2002 to 29 November 2008, but resigned on 29 April 2006 as he became Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on 2 November 2005.[12]

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.[13]

Union government[edit]

Ghulam Nabi Azad assumes charge of the Union Minister for Urban Development in New Delhi on 25 May 2004

In the second United Progressive Alliance Government, led by Manmohan Singh, Azad was sworn in as the Health Minister of India. He was elected to Rajya Sabha for the fourth and fifth terms from Jammu and Kashmir during the term of 30 November 1996 to 29 November 2002.[12] 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.[14][15]

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.[16]

Leader of Opposition[edit]

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.[17]

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.[18]

Ram Nath Kovind, President of India presenting the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for 2015 to Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, at a function, at Parliament House, New Delhi on August 1, 2018.

Resignation from INC[edit]

In August 2022, Azad resigned from the post of chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress campaign committee hours after his appointment. Sonia Gandhi accepted the resignation from Azad. On 26 August 2022, he resigned from all positions including primary membership of the party.[19][20][21] In his resignation letter, he cited destruction of consultative process by Rahul Gandhi as a reason.[22]

Democratic Azad Party[edit]

On 4 September 2022, Azad announced the formation of a new political party after resigning from Congress. He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir will decide the name and the flag for the new party.[23]

On 26 September 2022, Azad announced the name of his new party as Democratic Azad Party. The flag of the Democratic Azad Party has three colours: mustard, white, and blue.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Azad married Shameem Dev Azad, a well known Kashmiri singer, in 1980, and they have a son Saddam Nabi Azad and a daughter Sofiya Nabi Azad.[25][26][27][28]

Positions held[edit]

Year Description
1980 - 1984 Elected to 7th Lok Sabha
  • Deputy Minister - Law, Justice and Company Affairs (1982-82)
  • Deputy Minister - Information and Broadcasting (1983–84)
1984 - 1989 Elected to 8th Lok Sabha
  • Minister of State - Parliamentary Affairs (Dec 1984 - May 1986)
  • Minister of State - Home Affairs (May 1986 - Oct 1986)
  • Minister of State - Food and Civil Supplies (Oct 1986 - Sept 1987)
1991 - 1996 Elected to Rajya Sabha From Maharashtra
  • Union Minister - Parliamentary Affairs (June 1991 - Dec 1992)
  • Union Minister - Parliamentary Affairs (Jan 1993 - May 1996)
  • Union Minister - Civil Aviation and Tourism (Jan 1993 - May 1996)
1996 - 2002 Elected to Rajya Sabha From Jammu and Kashmir
2002 - 2006 Elected to Rajya Sabha From Jammu and Kashmir
  • Union Minister - Parliamentary Affairs (May 2004 - Oct 2005)
  • Union Minister - Urban Development (May 2004 - Oct 2005)



  1. ^ After Ghulam Nabi Azad, who could be the next Leader of Opposition? Hindustan Times
  2. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad's Son To Wed DLF Supremo's Grand-daughter". 31 October 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  3. ^ "My dad will do well, says Azad's daughter". Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad Biography – About family, political life, awards won, history".
  5. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad named Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha". Indo-Asian News Service. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad quits Congress, resigns from all party positions". THE TIMES OF INDIA. 26 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Padma Awards 2022: Complete list of recipients". mint. 26 January 2022. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  10. ^ "rajyasabhampbiodata". Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  11. ^ a b Ghulam Nabi Azad Biography, Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  12. ^ a b c "Alphabetical List Of Former Members Of Rajya Sabha Since 1952". Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Kashmir chief's surprise resignation", CNN, 7 July 2008.
  14. ^ "Azad's pat for NRHM schemes". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  15. ^ "NUHM launched to cover urban areas with over 50,000 population". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Azad says watch TV to check baby boom". Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  17. ^ Ghulam Nabi Azad Made Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha, Set to Become Leader of Opposition, NDTV News, 8 June 2014.
  18. ^ Kashmir surprise: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad reelected to Rajya Sabha, The Indian Express, 8 February 2015.
  19. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad quits Congress party". Big Mirror News. 26 August 2022.
  20. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad quits J&K Congress campaign committee hours after his appointment". Live Mint. 23 August 2022.
  21. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad resigns from all Congress party positions: Here's a primer". Frontline. 26 August 2022.
  22. ^ Phukan, Sandeep (26 August 2022). "Ghulam Nabi Azad quits Congress saying Rahul Gandhi destroyed party's consultative mechanism". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  23. ^ "Full Statehood, Jobs to Natives & More: With Big Plans for J&K, Azad Announces Own Party, Says People Will Decide its Name & Flag". News18. 4 September 2022. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  24. ^ ""Democratic Azad Party": Ghulam Nabi Azad Announces His Party's Name". Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  25. ^ "Power girl". India Today. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  26. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad's Son to Wed DLF Supremo's Grand-daughter". 31 October 2012.
  27. ^ "Sofiya Azad ves talking". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  28. ^ "My dad will do well, says Azad's daughter". The Hindu. 11 March 2005. p. 15. Archived from the original on 27 August 2006. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  29. ^ ""Someone Recognised My Work": Ghulam Nabi Azad On Padma Award". Retrieved 22 March 2022.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
2005 – 2008
Succeeded by
Vacant (Governor's Rule)
Preceded by Minister of Health and Family Welfare
2009 – 2014
Succeeded by
Preceded by Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha
2014 – 2021
Succeeded by