Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Tariq Anwar appears set to become the first Bihari politician to become a minister in the UPA-2 government at the center, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Anwar confirmed on Sunday that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had recommended his name to the Congress leadership for its inclusion in the union council of minister.
"A reshuffle of the union council of ministers is expected soon after President Pranab Mukherjee returns to New Delhi next week after his puja vacation in West Bengal," Anwar told HT.
He said his name had been suggested, by the NCP leadership, as a replacement for Agatha Sangma, daughter of former lok sabha speaker PA Sangma, who quit the NCP earlier this year to contest the presidential poll against Mukherjee.
Anwar is expected to join the union council of ministers as a minister of state. Although the NCP leadership wants him to get an independent charge of a ministry, it is not clear at this stage if the Congress leadership will play ball.
Anwar, a former president of the Bihar pradesh Congress committee, hails from Katihar in north eastern Bihar and had earlier won four terms Katihar lok sabha MP (1980, 1984, 1996 & 1998).
But his name has been suggested for inclusion in the council of ministers, not as a representative of Bihar, but "as a national leader of the NCP and the party's muslim face".