Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) General Secretary Tariq Anwar on Friday quit the party and the Lok Sabha, expressing his disagreement with party chief Sharad Pawar who gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal.
"I have resigned from the NCP as well as the membership of Lok Sabha because I totally disagree with Sharad Pawar's statement in support of Modi on Rafale deal," he told the media here.
"The Prime Minister is fully involved in the Rafale deal," he said, reacting to Pawar's television interview in which he had said he did not think people doubt Modi's intentions on a personal level.
Pawar's statement was welcomed by BJP chief Amit Shah who praised him for "placing national interests above party politics".
Anwar, 67, who was expelled from the Congress in 1999 along with Pawar and P.A. Sangma after they questioned the foreign origins of Sonia Gandhi, said he personally respected and honoured Pawar but felt his statement in support of Modi was unfortunate.
"I do not agree with his statement and have resigned from the party and membership of Parliament," the MP from Katihar said.
Anwar told IANS that he was forced to take this decision to prove his moral stand in politics. "I am telling people one thing and cannot take another stand," he said.
Anwar, who has been a Lok Sabha member several times and in the Rajya Sabha once, said he will talk to his supporters before taking a move to join any party.