After being awarded the Padma Bhushan Prize in the field of public affairs, senior congressional leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said he hoped to end religious and caste politics that were rife in the country.

Exclusively to ANI, Azad said: “I had also previously spoken about the responsibility of political parties with the same sense of service. I have been influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and I have followed Gandhi’s ideas from my childhood.”

“Gandhi ji is gone now, but his principles have not faded. The politics of casteism, hatred and religion is widespread in the country. I do not blame any party in particular. All parties are doing it. Some parties are doing too much, some parties do less. But all parties carry out this kind of politics. Sometimes I feel that by entering politics I am unable to do what can be done by leaving politics. I want to eradicate religion and caste politics” , he said.

The congress leader stressed that no party is trying to end the politics of caste and religion. “This disease increases with every election, be it a national or a regional party. If parties don’t work on their basic principles, elections will be held in the country in the name of religion and caste,” he said.

He slammed those who oppose the movement to grant Azad a Padma Bhushan, saying: “A lot of people are making comments. Critics are not aware of anyone’s history, nor do they know who is already working in the party and what their contributions are. People do know nothing about the history of leaders. Such people only comment on getting the award.”

Sources close to ANI said today that Gandhis (Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra) skipped the Padma Awards, which awarded the prize to Azad. In August 2019, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and CCP President Sonia Gandhi had also skipped the ceremony to hand over former President Pranab Mukherjee to Bharat Ratna.

Senior Congress Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was awarded the Padma Bhushan Prize in Public Affairs on Monday. He received the award today from President Ram Nath Kovind.

Padma Awards, one of the highest civilian honors in the country, are presented in three categories namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

The Awards are presented in various disciplines/fields of activity, namely art, social work, public affairs, science and technology, commerce and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service ; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in every field. The awards are announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day.

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