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Sonia resigns as MP, NAC Chairperson

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 23 (UNI) In a swift move to take the wind out of the Opposition's campaign against her over the "Office of Profit" controversy, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today resigned as a Lok Sabha member and Chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC), asserting that she was in public life not for personal interests but for serving the people.

In a brief statement she read out to media at her 10, Janpath residence, Ms Gandhi, who is a Lok Sabha member from Rae Bareli, said an atmosphere had been created in the country in the past two days to give an impression that the government and Parliament were "being missued for my cause only." She said "this has hurt me greatly" since she was in public life not for any personal gains but for serving the people of this country and protect its secular values.

Ms Gandhi's move caught her own party colleagues as well as the Opposition by surprise as it came a day after the Budget Session of Parliament was abruptly adjourned sine die without the traditional recess as media reports suggested that the government might bring in an ordinance on the "Office-of-Profit" issue to prevent the disqualification of Ms Gandhi as well as some top leaders from Parliament for holding positions which gave them pecuniary benefits.

The sword of disqualification from Parliament on Ms Gandhi and other leaders had been hanging ever since Mrs Jaya Bachchan was disqualified from the Rajya Sabha by President A P J Abdul Kalam who accepted the recommendation of the Election Commission in this regard as the Samajwadi Party member is also the Chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council.

Political circles were agog with speculation that Ms Gandhi's resignation might trigger a chain reaction with Parliamentarians and legislators holding offices of profit considering whether they should follow suit.

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