Ghulam Nabi Azad

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Ghulam Nabi Azad
Ghulam Nabi Azad-cropped.JPG
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha
Assumed office
8 June 2014
Preceded by Arun Jaitley
Minister of Health and Family Welfare
In office
22 May 2009 – 26 May 2014
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by Anbumani Ramadoss
Succeeded by Harsh Vardhan
7th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
In office
2 November 2005 – 11 July 2008
Governor Srinivas Kumar Sinha
Narinder Nath Vohra
Preceded by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Succeeded by Omar Abdullah
MP of Rajya Sabha for Jammu and Kashmir
Assumed office
16 February 2015
Constituency Jammu and Kashmir
Personal details
Born Ghulam Nabi Azad[1]
(1949-03-07) 7 March 1949 (age 69)
Soti, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Political party Indian National Congress
Other political
United Progressive Alliance (2004–present)
Spouse(s) Shameem Dev Azad (1980–2018)
Children Saddam Nabi Azad[2]
Sofiya Nabi Azad[3]
Alma mater Government Degree Colleges, Bhadarwah
G.G.M. Science College
University of Jammu
University of Kashmir

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.[4] Presently, he serves as the Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha.[5]

He was the Parliamentary Affairs Minister of India in the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh until 27 October 2005, when he was appointed as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He led the party successfully in the 2002 Assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir.

Early life[edit]

Gulam Nabi Azad was born in the village Soti in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district. He was born to Rahamatullah Batt and Basa Begum. He went to school in his village. He moved to Jammu and finished his Bachelor's degree from G.G.M. Science College in science.[6][7][8] Subsequently, he completed a Master's in Zoology from the University of Kashmir in 1972.[9]

Political career[edit]

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.[9]

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 as a Rajya Sabha.[10] 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.[10]

Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir[edit]

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.[11]

Union government[edit]

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

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.[10] 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.[12][13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17][18][19][20]


  1. ^ "indiatoday". Retrieved 29 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  3. ^ "Thehindu". Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  4. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad Biography - About family, political life, awards won, history". 
  5. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad named Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha". IANS. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  8. ^ "rajyasabhampbiodata". Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Ghulam Nabi Azad Biography,, retrieved 25 April 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "Alphabetical List Of Former Members Of Rajya Sabha Since 1952". Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Kashmir chief's surprise resignation", CNN, 7 July 2008.
  12. ^ Reporter, Staff. "Azad's pat for NRHM schemes". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-03-25. 
  13. ^ Correspondent, Special. "NUHM launched to cover urban areas with over 50,000 population". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-03-25. 
  14. ^ "Azad says watch TV to check baby boom". Retrieved 2017-03-25. 
  15. ^ Ghulam Nabi Azad Made Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha, Set to Become Leader of Opposition, NDTV News, 8 June 2014.
  16. ^ Kashmir surprise: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad relected to Rajya Sabha, The Indian Express, 8 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Power girl". India Today. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Sofiya Azad loves talking - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  20. ^ Correspondent, Special (2005-03-11). "My dad will do well, says Azad's daughter". The Hindu. p. 15. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
Succeeded by
Vacant (Governor's Rule)
Preceded by
Anbumani Ramadoss
Minister of Health and Family Welfare
Succeeded by
Harsh Vardhan
Preceded by
Arun Jaitley
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha