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.
Ghulam Nabi Azad was born in a village called Soti of tehsil Gandoh (Bhalessa) in then 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. 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 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.
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. 2 tenure of lok sabha and 5 tenure of rajya sabha.
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.
Ram Nath Kovind, President of India presenting the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the year 2015 to Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, at a function, at Parliament House, in New Delhi on August 01, 2018
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.