The Congress seems divided on the Padma Bhushan award conferred to its leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, party leader Kapil Sibal has come out in open support of Azad after cryptic tweets by Jairam Ramesh.Sibal tweeted, "Ghulam Nabi Azad conferred Padam Bhushan, Congratulations bhaijan, Ironic that the Congress doesn't need his services when the nation recognises his contributions to public life".After the announcement of Padma awards, Jairam Ramesh taking a cue from the rejection by West bengal former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya took a jibe at his party colleague Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan.
Ramesh tweeted on Bhattacharya's refusal to accept the award: "Right thing to do. He wants to be Azad not Ghulam."The comment was indirectly aimed at his party colleague Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was conferred the Padma Bhushan in the field of Public Affairs.
Azad is also a former Union minister and till recently, he was the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. Azad was one of the first in the Congress to stoke the leadership issue in the party.Former Chief Minister of West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, on Tuesday refused to accept the Padma Bhushan award conferred upon him by the government of India.Bhattacharya was given the award for his contribution in the field of Public Affairs.A statement issued by the veteran CPI-M leader read: "I don't know anything about the Padma Bhushan award, nobody told me about it. If I were awarded the Padma Bhushan, I would reject it.The Congress division with reagrds to Azad's award is witness to the internal rift within the party as Azad was one of the leaders who had raised the leadership issue in the party and had demanded organizational elections.