Former Maharashtra minister Baba Siddique joined Ajit Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party this afternoon, days after resigning from the Congress. He launched a harsh attack on his former party after joining the NCP: “My condition in the Congress was how curry leaves are used to enhance the taste of food. That’s how I was treated in the Congress Party.”
Siddique dealt a blow to the Congress, of which he was a part for the last 48 years, when he announced his decision to resign from the party on Thursday, saying “some decisions are painful, but they have to be taken”. “He was a prominent Muslim figure in the Mumbai Congress and served as a minister when the Congress-NCP coalition was in power in Maharashtra.
The 66-year-old is the second senior Congress leader from Mumbai to quit the party in the last month after former Union Minister Milind Deora joined Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena-led party in January.
He had already decided to join Ajit Pawar’s party when he decided to quit the big party. “I will go with Ajit Pawar’s group. My journey will be from the Congress to the Nationalist Congress Party,” he said soon after announcing his big decision on X.
Siddique said today that he “met Praful Patel a few days ago, after which it was decided that he would have to work in the NCP under the leadership of Ajit Pawar.” Former Union Minister Praful Patel is a close aide of Ajit Pawar and is currently the working president of the NCP.
In his farewell remarks to Congress, he said: “I joined the Indian National Congress Party as a young teenager and it has been a significant journey spanning 48 years. Today I resign from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress Party with effect immediate. “.
“There are many things I would have liked to express, but as they say, some things are better left unsaid. I thank everyone who has been a part of this journey,” his post on X read.
I joined the Indian National Congress party when I was a young teenager and it has been an important journey that has lasted 48 years. Today I resign from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress Party. @INCIndia with immediate effect. There are many things that I would have liked to express…
– Baba Siddique (@BabaSiddique) February 8, 2024
The development comes after the Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP, part of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, was recognized as the real NCP by the Election Commission earlier this week. The electoral body’s decision ended months of speculation about factional fighting with his uncle, also NCP founder, Sharad Pawar.
Baba Siddique’s son Zeeshan is a Congress member from Bandra (East) in Mumbai. “He will take his own decision,” Siddique said when asked if his son would follow in his footsteps.
The politician is also known for his huge Iftar parties, which are attended by top Bollywood stars like Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.