IANS

19 years on, Tariq Anwar returns to Congress fold (Lead)

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) Hours after former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar, who returned to Congress on Saturday, almost two decades after he had walked out, the party appealed to others leaders to come back.

Anwar returned to Congress in the presence of party President Rahul Gandhi. Anwar had in 1999 joined NCP chief Sharad Pawar and some others in quitting the Congress to protest the appointment of a person of foreign origin (Sonia Gandhi) as the party chief.

Gandhi welcomed Anwar into “the Congress family”, the party tweeted, posting a picture of the two leaders shaking hands.

Anwar, who represented Katihar (Bihar) in the Lok Sabha, had quit the NCP and his Lok Sabha membership on September 28 expressing disagreement with party chief Sharad Pawar whom he has been upset with for giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Modi in the Rafale deal.

Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot, who was present at the press conference at the party headquarters, said, “Anwar met Gandhi and then joined the party.”

Gehlot said that more people would come to Congress due to the kind of “atmosphere” being created in the country.

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, Gehlot said, “Only two people are running the country — Modi and Shah.”

He also said that the people of the country have understood that whatever they (BJP) had said has turned false.

Gehlot appealed to former Congress leaders to return to the party fold.

“As the biggest party of the country, the Congress has a rich history before and after Independence.

“Indira Gandhi was assassinated when she was the Prime Minister. Rajiv Gandhi was also assassinated when he was set to become the Prime Minister again. And today they question what Congress did in the last 70 years. They don’t have any history of their participation in the Independence movement,” he said.

“And now they talk about Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as they know they have failed on all fronts,” he said.

Congress Bihar in-charge Shakti Sinh Gohil said, “With Anwar joining back the party, the Grand Alliance would be strengthened as he has the experience of working in the party.”

Gohil said that disaster was set to hit the NDA and more leaders would join Congress in the coming days.

Comparing Modi to a ruler who can do anything to save his chair, the Congress’s Bihar in-charge said, “Modi is such a ruler, who when finds any danger to his kingdom compromises.”

Taking a jibe at the Janata Dal-United and BJP seat sharing formula announced on Friday, Gohil said, “Now as the king has found that his kingdom was in danger, they have stitched a deal in Bihar.”

Shah and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is also the President of the JD-U on Friday announced that both the parties will contest an equal number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections in the state next year under a seat-sharing formula between them.

–IANS
aks/prs

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