Ever since the announcement of the Padma Awards, a divide is being seen in the Congress, especially after its veteran leader Gulam Nabi Azad was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Centre for his contribution in public Affairs.
Azad is yet to give a statement or react to the announcement of the award by the Narendra Modi government.
While a tweet from a close aide of the Gandhi's and the Chief Whip of the party in Rajya Sabha, Jairam Ramesh took a dig on Azad for accepting the award, Congress stalwarts from the G-23 group have congratulated him for the 'well-deserved' award.
Ramesh, in his tweet, appreciated Bhudhdeb Bhattacharya for not accepting the Padma Bhushan Award, and had said, 'Right thing to do. He wants to be Azad not Ghulam.'
Several Congress stalwarts are seemingly unhappy after the tweet of Jairam Ramesh; one of the G-23 leaders on anonymity told ANI that it's very surprising that such a message has been given.
'Gulam Nabi Azad has done a lot for the public. He was a minister in Indira Gandhi's Cabinet. He has been one of the longest-serving Cabinet ministers in the country and awards are not from any particular party, they are from the government. It is very bad that this is being dragged into a controversy,' a senior Congress leader said.
Meanwhile, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal congratulated him while also slamming the party for 'not needing Azad's services'.
'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,' Sibal tweeted.
Shashi Tharoor also extended congratulations to Azad and said, 'Warm congratulations to Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad on his Padma Bhushan. It is good to be recognized for one's public service even by a government of the other side.'
Anand Sharma, who is the Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, too extended support to the veteran leader and said, 'Heartiest congratulations to Ghulam Nabi ji for well-deserved recognition of his lifelong enriching contribution to public service and Parliamentary democracy.'
Meanwhile, in another episode, Gulam Nabi Azad had to clarify on social media that his Twitter bio wasn't changed, amid rumours that he removed Congress after receiving the award.
'Some mischievous propoganda being circulated by some people to create confusion. Nothing has been removed or added to my Twitter profile. The profile is as it was earlier,' he tweeted.