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Anil Ambani resigns from RS; Office-of-Profit controversy rages

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 25 (UNI) With the 'Office-of-Profit' controversy refusing to die down, leading industrialist Anil Ambani today resigned from the Rajya Sabha, saying he was doing so to uphold the highest standards of transparency, propriety and ethics in public life.

Meanwhile, two Congress MPs, including Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia, and more than 25 MLAs from Madhya Pradesh offered their resignations to Congress President Sonia Gandhi to express solidarity with her but she turned down their offer.

Ms Gandhi had resigned on Thursday as a member of the Lok Sabha and Chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC) after the Opposition's campaign against her on the 'Office-of-Profit' issue following media reports that the governmment proposed to promulgate an ordinance to prevent her disqualification from Parliament for holding a position with pecuniary benefits.

She is scheduled to pay a day-long visit to her Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency on Monday to explain to the people why she resigned her seat.

Mr Ambani, who resigned from the Upper House today, is the Chairman of the new Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in June 2004.

Mr Ambani had joined the Uttar Pradesh Development Council (UPDC) in an honorary capacity in October 2003. He will, however, continue to perform an advisory role in the council.

In a statement issued here soon after he tendered his resignation to Rajya Sabha Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Mr Ambani, an Independent member, said one must uphold the highest standard of transparency, propriety and ethics, and avoid any possibility of controversy, however remote or unlikely.

"Keeping this in mind, I have decided to tender my resignation from the Rajya Sabha with immediate effect," he said.

Mr Ambani said there had been no suggestion that there was any issue in his continuing to be a member of the UPDC after being elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Karan Singh and Dr Kapila Vatsayayan are the other two members of the Rajya Sabha who have resigned so far following the controversy over "Offices of Profit". Dr Karan Singh is the President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) while Dr Vatsayayan is the President of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA).

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