NEW DELHI: IT was a homecoming for Tariq Anwar as he rejoined the Congress, the party which he had quit almost 19 years ago, on Saturday. The former NCP leader had quit the party a month ago after differences with party chief Sharad Pawar. Anwar, Pawar and PA Sangma had quit the Congress and floated the NCP in 1999 after Sonia Gandhi took over as the Congress chief. The trio was miffed over Sonia’s foreign origins.
In Delhi, Anwar met Congress president Rahul Gandhi at the latter’s residence and was inducted into the party by general secretary Ashok Gehlot and Shaktisinh Gohil, the party’s in-charge for Anwar’s home state of Bihar. The former Katihar MP on September 28 had announced that he was quitting the NCP and also resigning from the Lok Sabha after Pawar’s alleged defence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the controversial Rafale deal. The NCP boss had later said that he was misquoted.
Anwar was elected to the Lok Sabha from Katihar in 2014 with the support of the Congress and the Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal. Anwar won the seat for the first time on a Congress ticket in 1980, when he was just 29. He won the seat again in 1984, 1996 and 1998. He was also a Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra and was made the minister of state for agriculture and food processing in 2012 in the UPA-2 government. Anwar had previously served as the Bihar Congress unit president.