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Bhajan Lal resignation accepted

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 3 (UNI) Congress President Sonia Gandhi today accepted the resignation of party veteran leader Bhajan Lal as chief of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee.

''The resignation will take immediate effect,'' AICC spokesman Abishek Manu Singhvi told mediapersons here.

The spokesman skipped a question when asked if the action of the three-time Chief Minister would have any repercussion on the faction-ridden state Congress.

Mr Lal put in his papers on July one alleging ''inaction'' of the Hooda government and protesting against the ''unacceptable treatment'' meted out to his followers in the new PCC reconstituted a week ago by the AICC.

The extreme action by the ageing leader came at the end of a week long unfructified effort to meet Ms Gandhi to personally express his displeasure over the reconstituted PCC in Haryana where the state Congress is immersed in factionalism with Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Mr Lal on rival sides.

In his resignation letter, Mr Lal said ''the recent Pradesh Congress Committee list (of office bearers) has broken all bounds of patience in the hearts and minds of the real Congress workers at the grass-root level.'' He said the developments in the Haryana state in the last 15 months have been very painful and agonising for the people of the state, who voted for the Congress Party in 2005 Vidhan Sabha elections.

Striking an emotional chord, the veteran leader said he had dedicated his entire life for the ''betterment of the people of Haryana and to strengthen the Congress Party at all times....I will continue to work for the betterment of the people of Haryana till my last breath and every drop of blood in my body can be used for the progress of the people of Haryana.'' It was reported that the Bhajan Lal faction was very upset with the cold shouldering by Ms Gandhi of the three-time Chief Minister who could not secure an appointment with her for more than a week.

Mr Bhajan Lal was unhappy with the manner in which the party slapped a show cause notice on his son, Kuldeep Bishnoi, MP, for his open criticism of the style of functioning of the Hooda government, besides his humiliation.

The factionalism in the Haryana Congress touched its nadir following the election of Bhajan Lal's arch rival Bhupinder Singh Hooda as the Chief Minister about 15 months ago, rejecting his claim for the post for the fourth time. Things worsened further when a Hooda supporter, Dr Ram Prakash, was appointed Working President, who allegedly tried to usurp the powers of the PCC chief.

In a bid to strike a balance, the Congress High Command had appointed Mr Bhajan Lal's son as the Deputy Chief Minister. But this did not satisfy the Bhajan camp as his son was not given any important portfolio.

UNI SH RP HS1757

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