MUMBAI: After the resignation of Tariq Anwar, one of the founders of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), one of the Maharashtra state general secretaries of the party, Munaf Hakim, too resigned from the party post on Friday.
"It appears as if the party is run by someone else and not by Sharad Pawar," Hakim alleged as he announced his resignation.
"Several of the decisions in past few years are so confusing that it feels as if the party's controls have moved to someone else. The party that opposed the BJP lent unconditional support to its government in the state in 2014. During Ahmed Patel's Rajya Sabha elections, NCP MLAs were directed to vote against him, and now the statement that clearly supports the BJP. All these things are very painful and are indicative of the fact that the party is losing its direction," Hakim said while speaking to The New Indian Express.
He didn't reveal his future plans.
When asked to react to the resignations, party spokesperson Nawab Malik said that they must have come from some personal political compulsions and that nobody in the party needed to panic as a clarification had already been issued that Pawar's statement in the interview was being misinterpreted even while he had supported the demand of formation of a joint parliamentary committee to look into the issue if Rafael deal.
"Anwar had every opportunity to take the party whichever way he wanted in past 19 years. However, he couldn't take the party anywhere. He couldn't grow the party. This leads us to think that he must have had some political compulsions of his own and must have been thinking of quitting the party and is just using Pawar's statement as an excuse," Malik said.
In a statement released on Thursday, the party's stand on the alleged controversial statement of Pawar has already been made clear, Malik pointed out.
While replying to a question pertaining to Rafael deal, Pawar had made it clear that the government is not coming out with any clarification regarding Rafael which is leading to questions being raised about their credibility and people are being more suspicious about it," Malik said and added that the party has always been demanding that a joint parliamentary committee be set up in the case and the government also needs to explain reasons behind cost escalations and why HAL was sidelined. He also added that the party wanted the government to give information just the way the then opposition wanted the then government to reveal during Bofors scam.
Meanwhile, senior party leader Praful Patel had a different reaction to Anwar's resignation.
"It is a sad day for us that our senior colleague has decided to quit Lok Sabha and also NCP. It's very surprising because he has based his decision on an interview by Sharad Pawar to news channel wherein facts are very clear on Rafale," Patel said and added that while the charges leveled by Anwar upon Pawar are wrong, he should have spoken to Pawar before taking the decision.
"Anwar might have had felt like resigning. But, the way he did it was wrong. This is irresponsible. However, party does not die due to someone's quittingit," Patel added.
He also said that efforts for reconciliation would be made.
Meanwhile, political analysts have interpreted Pawar's statement as his typical style of testing the waters.
It has been an old habit of Pawar that he makes potentially controversial statements and checks the reactions. He retracts them if he feels that the reactions are too harsh and goes ahead with it if there are not many adverse reactions, said senior journalist Hemant Desai.