Lok Sabha MP Tariq Anwar on Friday resigned from the Nationalist Congress Party days after party chief Sharad Pawar appeared to defend Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale aircraft deal, PTI reported. Anwar also resigned from the Lok Sabha.

“I resigned after being hurt by Pawar saheb’s comments,” Anwar told News18. “There must be a thorough probe on the corruption in Rafale deal.”

Anwar, who is considered a close aide of Pawar, had quit the Congress in 1999 after Sonia Gandhi became the party president.

Earlier this week, Pawar told a Marathi news channel that “people do not have doubts” over Modi’s intentions on the defence deal. The Nationalist Congress Party president also said the Opposition’s demand to share technical details relating to the fighter jets “made no sense”. He, however, said there would be no harm in the government disclosing the prices of the fighter jets.

Bharatiya Janata Party Amit Shah praised Pawar for his stand on the matter and for “placing national interests above party politics and speaking the truth”.

The Nationalist Congress Party, meanwhile, clarified that Pawar has not given a clean chit to Modi on the Rafale deal nor has he made any statement defending the prime minister, PTI reported. Party spokesperson Nawab Malik reiterated the party’s demands that the central government disclose the price of the jets and that a Joint Parliamentary Committee conduct an inquiry into the matter.

Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel said while it was sad that Anwar had decided to quit the Lok Sabha and the party, it was an irresponsible move. “It is very surprising because he [Anwar] has based his decision on an interview by Sharad Pawar to a news channel,” Patel told ANI.

Anwar should have asked Pawar to clarify what he meant by the statement, Patel told ABP Majha.