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Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin had 'reached far and wide': Sharad Pawar


In the year 1999, Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar, PA Sangma and Tariq Anwar were expelled from Congress party for six years for raising voice against Sonia Gandhi's Foreign Origin during the Congress Working Committee meeting. Later, the trio formed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

In his book 'On My Terms - From the Grassroot to the Corridors of Power', Sharad Pawar mentioned he was asked by a Mumbai University Girl 'In a country of 1 billion people, Why can't the Congress find a leader of Indian origin?'. It was then he realized the issue of Sonia's foreign origin had reached far and deep.

During the CWC meeting on May 15th, 1999, Sonia Gandhi asked Congress leaders to voice their opinion on her foreign origin issue. While Arjun Singh, AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ambika Soni showed their loyalty by saying Sonia alone deserve to lead the Nation, Sharad Pawar, PA Sangma and Tariq Anwar warned Opposition might gain by highlighting the issue, hinting at choosing an Indian as PM candidate would be a better option.

Sharad Pawar, PA Sangma and Tariq Anwar suggested amending in constitution to ensure that officers of President, Vice President and Prime Minister could only be held by natural-born Indian citizens. Within few days, The trio were suspended from Congress for 6 years and Arjun Singh has orchestrated the entire episode.

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