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Kapila Vatsayayan resigns; Speaker won't quit

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) A day after Congress President Sonia Gandhi stunned the nation by resigning as an MP and Chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC) following the "Office-of-Profit" controversy, Dr Kapila Vatsayayan quit as a member of the Rajya Sabha but Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said he won't step down.

As Opposition parties were busy devising strategies to counter Ms Gandhi after she regained the high moral ground in the battle of nerves among political formations on the "Office-of-Profit" issue, the Election Commission said it was going ahead with the process of assessing the complaints against the Congress chief, Speaker Chatterjee and 14 other MPs and four Jharkhand MLAs, seeking their disqualification for holding offices of profit.

EC sources said the commission would shortly send out letters to Telugu Desam (TDP) Parliamentary Party leader Yerran Naidu and other TDP MPs who have complained against Ms Gandhi, Dr Karan Singh, Dr T Subbarami Reddy and Ms Kapila Vatsayayan, seeking more information from them. Dr Singh and Dr Vatsayayan have also quit as MPs, taking a cue from Ms Gandhi.

Dr Vatsayayan, culture czarina and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) President, resigned this morning from the Rajya Sabha in the wake of the ''office of profit'' controversy. Her resignation has been accepted by Rajya Sabha Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

Several senior Congress leaders and AICC office bearers called on the Congress President and expressed their solidarity with the stand taken by her in resigning from the Lok Sabha as well as the NAC Chairpersonship.

A large number of party workers and supporters had also gathered outside her residence at 10 Janpath since morning and were shouting slogans against BJP leaders and Samajvadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh.

Some of the leaders and MLAs including Mr Kripa Shankar Singh, MLA from Maharashtra, offered to resign from Legislative Assemblies in her support but were dissuaded by her from doing so.

The AICC General Secretaries were told to convey to the people the reaction that prompted her to resign both from the Lok Sabha and from the National Advisory Council and the false propaganda launched against her by the Opposition, according to party sources.

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