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'Was treated like curry leaves': Baba Siddique on quitting Congress and joining NCP
Photo Courtesy: X videograb

'Was treated like curry leaves': Baba Siddique on quitting Congress and joining NCP

| @indiablooms | 11 Feb 2024, 01:18 am

Mumbai: Days after quitting Congress, former Maharashtra minister Baba Siddique joined Ajit Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party Saturday evening and said his previous party treated him like “curry leaves,” media reports said.

Hitting out at the Congress, Siddique said his condition in Congress was like “curry leaves,” which is just used to enhance the taste of food.

Siddique’s exit is seen as a severe blow to the Congress party ahead of the Lok Sabha election, especially as he had been a Congressman for the last 48 years.

Siddique was a prominent Muslim face of the Congress and served as a minister when the NCP-Congress coalition was in power in Maharashtra.

He said the decision to leave the Congress was painful but had become necessary, according to the reports.

Siddique is the second heavyweight leader, who bid farewell to Congress in just a month after former Union Minister Milind Deora joined the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena in January.

After resigning from the Congress, he announced his intention to join Ajit Pawar’s NCP in a post on X.

"I will go with the Ajit Pawar group. My journey will be from Congress to Nationalist Congress Party," he said soon after announcing his big decision on X.

Siddique said today that he "met with Praful Patel a few days ago after which it was decided that I have to work in the NCP under the leadership of Ajit Pawar".

Former Union Minister Praful Patel is a close associate of Ajit Pawar and is currently the working president of NCP.

Bidding adieu to the Congress, he said, "I joined the Indian National Congress party as a young teenager and it has been a significant journey lasting 48 years. Today I resign from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress Party with immediate effect.

"There's a lot 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.

Baba Siddique joined forces with Ajit Pawar following the Election Commission's recognition earlier this week of the latter’s faction of the NCP, which is a constituent of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra.

The decision by the electoral body put an end to months of speculation regarding the internal factional conflict involving Ajit Pawar and his uncle, Sharad Pawar, who is also the founder of the NCP.

While Siddique quit the Congress, his son Zeeshan continues to represent the party from Bandra constituency in the Maharashtra Assembly.

Siddique stressed that his son would make his own decisions, emphasizing that his own choice to exit the Congress party has no influence on his son's political career.

Siddique is known to have close links with Bollywood with superstars like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan being regulars at his grand Iftar parties.

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