Upset with Pawar, Tariq Anwar quits NCP

The NCP founding member says he was hurt by Sharad Pawar’s ‘defence’ of Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal

September 28, 2018 01:44 pm | Updated 11:31 pm IST - Katihar/New Delhi

NCP member Tariq Anwar speaks during a debate on no-confidence motion against the government, in Lok Sabha, on Friday. Courtesy: Lok Sabha TV

NCP member Tariq Anwar speaks during a debate on no-confidence motion against the government, in Lok Sabha, on Friday. Courtesy: Lok Sabha TV

Nationalist Congress Party founding member Tariq Anwar resigned from the party and the Lok Sabha on Friday, protesting against party chief Sharad Pawar’s comments giving a clean chit to PM Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is completely involved in Rafale deal and until now he has failed in proving himself innocent… The statement given by former French President in this connection has substantiated the fact that there was a scam in the Rafale deal,” Mr. Anwar said. He added that though he “respects Mr. Pawar personally, [he] considers his statement on this issue as unfortunate.”

Mr. Anwar is a five-time Lok Sabha member and a two-time Rajya Sabha MP. He was also Minister of State for Agriculture in the Manmohan Singh UPA Cabinet.

Speaking to The Hindu on phone from Katihar, Mr. Anwar said Mr. Pawar’s comments were the last straw and that over the past many months, the NCP has had an ambiguous stand towards the BJP which had made him uncomfortable.

“It is not just about Pawar ji’s television interview. My resignation from the party is a result of certain sequence of events. The party first unconditionally supported the BJP government in Maharashtra. Its unclear stand during Gujarat Assembly elections helped the BJP win the polls,” Mr. Anwar said.

Mr. Anwar said he had raised objections within the party forum too. “I protested on each of the occasions and some vague ‘compulsions’ were cited each time as the reason for the party’s stand,” he added.

When questioned on whether he would join the Congress, Mr. Anwar said he would not deny the option. “There is hardly any difference between Congress’s ideology and NCP’s. Honestly, I have not decided what to do next,” he said.

(With Inputs from Amarnath Tewary)

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