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Former NCP leader Tariq Anwar joined Congress party in presence of Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi. Former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar joined the party in presence of president Rahul Gandhi Saturday.

Anwar, one of the founders of the NCP, had quit the party on September 28 after party chief Sharad Pawar had defended Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal row.

He had then hinted about him joining the Congress, which he had left in 1999 along with Pawar. Anwar, along with his supporters, met Gandhi at his Tughlaq Lane residence and was welcomed into the party.

Anwar, who wrested Katihar Lok Sabha seat from BJP in the 2014 election despite the Narendra Modi wave, had said he was “hurt” by Pawar’s interview.

Pawar said to Marathi news channel Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intentions on the Rafale fighter jet aircraft deal were not wrong. “From his statement, I felt he has some soft corner for the BJP and the Prime Minister,” said Anwar.

Anwar was the president of Bihar Congress in the 1980s, an AICC general secretary and member of the Congress Working Committee in the 1990s and represented Katihar.

As a Congress MP four times before he left the party with Pawar and the late P A Sangma to form the NCP over Sonia Gandhi’s foreign-origin issue in 1999.

The NCP later allied with the Congress and Anwar served as a Union minister in the UPA-II government.

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