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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]

Ghulam Nabi Azad
Ghulam Nabi Azad-cropped.JPG
Leader of the Opposition
Rajya Sabha
Assumed office
8 June 2014
Preceded byArun Jaitley
Minister of Health and Family Welfare
In office
22 May 2009 – 26 May 2014
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byAnbumani Ramadoss
Succeeded byHarsh Vardhan
All India Congress Committee General Secretary for Haryana
Assumed office
23 January 2019
PresidentRahul Gandhi
7th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
In office
2 November 2005 – 11 July 2008
GovernorSrinivas Kumar Sinha
Narinder Nath Vohra
Preceded byMufti Mohammad Sayeed
Succeeded byOmar Abdullah
Member of the Indian Parliament
Rajya Sabha
Assumed office
16 February 2015
ConstituencyJammu and Kashmir
Personal details
Ghulam Nabi Azad[1]

(1949-03-07) 7 March 1949 (age 70)
Soti, Bhalessa, Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, Dominion of India (present-day Jammu and Kashmir, India)
Political partyIndian National Congress
Other political
United Progressive Alliance (2004–present)
Spouse(s)Shameem Dev Azad
ChildrenSaddam Nabi Azad[2]
Sofiya Nabi Azad[3]
Alma materGovernment Degree Colleges, Bhadarwah
G.G.M. Science College
University of Jammu
University of Kashmir

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 lifeEdit

Gulam Nabi Azad was born in the village Soti of tehsil Gandoh (Bhalessa) 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 careerEdit

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 in 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 KashmirEdit

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 governmentEdit

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 oppositionEdit

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]

Kidnapping of kinEdit

Between June 1991 and January 1993 Azad was union parliamentary affair minister. His brother-in-law Tassaduq Dev was kidnapped by Al Umar Mujahideen in January 1992. Three jailed Islamic terrorists of Al Umar were released in exchange for Dev on January 17.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

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.[18][19][20][21]


  1. ^ "indiatoday". Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  2. ^ "". 31 October 2012. 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 25 March 2017.
  13. ^ Correspondent, Special. "NUHM launched to cover urban areas with over 50,000 population". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Azad says watch TV to check baby boom". Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  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. ^ IANS (11 May 2019). "Terror Trail-V: The politics of abduction in Kashmir (IANS Exclusive)". Business Standard India. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Power girl". India Today. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  19. ^ "Ghulam Nabi Azad's Son to Wed DLF Supremo's Grand-daughter". 31 October 2012.
  20. ^ "Sofiya Azad loves talking - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  21. ^ Correspondent, Special (11 March 2005). "My dad will do well, says Azad's daughter". The Hindu. p. 15. Retrieved 19 April 2017.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

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