New Delhi: A day after he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday sought to scotch speculation about his future political plans.
Reports had claimed that he had changed his Twitter profile, but Azad, who has been critical of his party leadership and is the lone Congress leader to be awarded this year under the Modi dispensation, denied it.
“Some mischievous propaganda being circulated by some people to create confusion. Nothing has been removed or added to my Twitter profile. The profile is as it was earlier,” Azad said on Twitter.
Azad’s Twitter profile has nothing written on it and there is no reference to the Congress party.
In the age of social media, the Twitter profiles of leaders are keenly watched as many tend to change them before formally switching parties.
Azad, the former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, is a prominent member of the G23 dissident leaders who have been demanding an organisational overhaul in the Congress and has faced backlash from a section of the party.
After the announcement of the Padma awards on Tuesday evening, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, while commenting on CPI (M) leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharya’s refusal to accept the award, said, “He wants to be Azad not Ghulam”.
However, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who is also in the G23, said on Wednesday that it was ironic that the Congress does not need Azad’s services when the nation recognises his contributions to public life.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had showered praise on Azad during his farewell speech for the Congress leader in the Upper House and the latter had returned the sentiment.
Azad has recently travelled extensively in villages of Jammu and Kashmir and has received an encouraging response. He is again planning to visit Jammu and Kashmir in the coming days, sources said.