“In view of the ongoing controversy in the Press Club, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is giving up her honorary membership with immediate effect," said a letter from AICC general secretary and spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi.
On Friday, Aug 21, a delegation from PCI had met the Congress chief and given her the membership.
Meanwhile, a “group of dissidents" from within the general body, unaware that Sonia was provided membership, called for an extraordinary general body meeting (EGM).
"It was to highlight the autocratic behaviour of the present general secretary and bring to light financial irregularities in Press Club"s accounts," said Nadim Kazmi, one of the agitators, present in EGM.
“They were trying to use Sonia Gandhi as leverage — it was their masterstroke," P P Balachandran, convener of the interim committee set up to manage the Press Club. “But their leadership was dissolved at the EGM and an interim committee was set up."
However, Pushpendra Kulshrestha, the club"s former general secretary and part of the delegation that called on Gandhi, denies the charge.
“We had previously got an appointment with Sonia Gandhi but it was granted only on August 21," she said.
"Later, some journalists raised her association with the Press Club during a media interaction to unnecessarily politicise the issue. We have nothing to do with it."