Tariq Anwar Urges Ex-Congress Leaders To Return To Party

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Tariq Anwar joined the Congress last week in Delhi after quitting NCP. (File)


Tariq Anwar, who made a comeback to the Congress after nearly two decades, on Saturday urged those who had left the party to return and fight in ousting the BJP from the Centre and Nitish Kumar government in Bihar.

Mr Anwar joined the Congress last week in Delhi after quitting the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in which he was a national general secretary.

At a press conference at the Congress's Bihar headquarters in Patna, he said his decision to part ways with the NCP was "painful" and made it clear that he had joined the Congress without any conditions.

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"The Congress has given me a lot and I have served in probably all crucial capacities except that of national president," Mr Anwar said in his first visit to his home state after rejoining the party.

He quit the party on September 28 following differences with Mr Pawar's stand on the Rafale issue.

The NCP chief, speaking to a television channel in September had said people "do not have doubts" over Prime Minister Narendra Modi intentions (in the Rafale deal). However, he retracted from his remark.

Asked if he saw his move a result of misunderstanding, even as Mr Pawar retracted, Mr Anwar defended his resignation and said now there is no point in pondering over it.

"The fact is, Congress is my old home. And I urge all others who have left the party over the years because of various reasons to return and join us in our fight against Modi and Nitish Kumar," he said.

Though he did not take names of Congressmen, who are now in other parties, leaders like former chief minister Jagannath Mishra, Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Rajya Sabha MP C P Thakur, LJP MP Mahmood Ali Kaisar and JD(U) legislator Ashok Choudhary have roots in the grand old party.

Besides resigning from the NCP, Anwar had also tendered his resignation from his Lok Sabha membership from the Pawar-led party from Katihar in Bihar.

He also strongly criticised the Bihar government's handling of the situation here on Friday when police personnel went on a rampage over the death of a female constable who was allegedly denied sick leave.

"It was utter lawlessness. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's image of a good administrator is in tatters," Mr Anwar alleged.

Dismissing speculation about the Congress demanding a greater share of seats in Bihar for the Lok Sabha polls, he said it is too early and also rubbished suggestions that the Congress had been relegated to the position of a B-Team of Lalu Prasad's RJD.

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