Tariq Anwar quits NCP over Pawar's clean chit to Modi

Tariq Anwar quits NCP over Pawar's clean chit to Modi

Tariq Anwar

Unhappy over Sharad Pawar's clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Rafale, veteran parliamentarian and leader of the NCP Parliamentary Party (NCPPP) in the Lok Sabha Tariq Anwar on Friday resigned from his parent organisation.

“Prime Minister Modi has not been able to clear the air on Rafale. However, my party president Sharad Pawar has come to his defence. I completely disagree with Pawar on this issue. Therefore, I am quitting NCP, besides resigning as MP,” said Tariq Anwar on Friday.

This is perceived as a major political development which could have wide ramifications here as the veteran parliamentarian was the sole NCP MP from Bihar.

Tariq, who was considered one of the closest associates of Sharad Pawar, had quit Congress along with PA Sangma in 1999, questioning the foreign origin of Sonia Gandhi.

The six-term MP, who also served as Union Minister of State for Agriculture in UPA-2, however, surprised everyone within the NCP as well as Congress on Friday, when he announced his resignation from Pawar’s outfit as well as Member of Parliament. “Tariq Anwar is deeply saddened over the way Pawar has defended PM Modi in a Marathi channel where he said ‘people do not have doubts over Prime Minister’s intention’. Such stand by Pawar (giving clean chit to PM on Rafale) has taken place at a time when the Congress has vociferously raked up the issue and was trying to unite all the non-BJP parties,” said one of the close aides of Tariq.

The veteran leader, who started his career by winning the 1980 Lok Sabha seat from Katihar as the Congress candidate, was always in the good books of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. He was made president of the All India Youth Congress in the 80s before becoming political secretary to the then Congress president Sitaram Kesri in 1998.

However, he ‘revolted’ along with Pawar and Sangma in 1999 on the issue of Sonia’s foreign origin issue and became one of the founder members of the NCP. Years later, he mended fences with her and got a place in Manmohan Singh ministry. He was the only NCP Lok Sabha member to win from Bihar during 2014 parliamentary polls, despite Modi wave.