Tariq Anwar quits NCP after its chief gave thumps up to Modi on rafale deal

New Delhi: Days after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar gave a ‘clean chit’ to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, Tariq Anwar resigned from the party on Friday. In a statement, Anwar, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Katihar in Bihar, said he ‘cannot betray the common perception over irregularities in the deal.’

“Our (NCP) national president Sharad Pawar indirectly gave a clean chit to PM, in a statement on Rafale deal. PM is completely involved in deal. Opposition is demanding constitution of JPC for probe in it. I’m upset with his statement.” Anwar was quoted as saying by ANI after he resigned.

Speaking to a Marathi news channel, Pawar had said that he didn’t think that people have doubts about Modi’s intentions in the Rafale deal. Pawar, a former Defence Minister, had also said that the Opposition’s demand to share technical details relating to the fighter jets “made no sense”. He, however, said there was no harm for the government to disclose prices of the aircraft.

BJP president Amit Shah praised Pawar for his stand on the issue. In a tweet, he said, “I thank Shri @PawarSpeaks Ji, a former Defence Minister and veteran MP, for placing national interests above party politics and speaking the truth. Dear @RahulGandhi, you would be wiser by believing your own ally and a leader of Pawar Saheb’s stature.”

However, the NCP maintained the party chief did not give any clean cheat to PM Modi in the Rafale issue. Party spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “He (Pawar) has not made any statement defending Modi nor has he given any clean chit (in the Rafale deal matter).” Malik said what Pawar meant was that people initially didn’t have doubts about the prime minister. “What Pawar saheb said was that the way the matter is being hushed up (by the government) and attention of people from the issue is being diverted, the doubt is deepening,” Malik said.

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