Cong MP Akhilesh Das quits party, Rajya Sabha

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{image-akhilesh das_06052008.jpg}New Delhi, May 6: Former Minister of state in the UPA government Akhilesh Das who was dropped from the Union Council of Ministers last month, today resigned from the Congress and the Rajya Sabha.

Talking to newspersons, Mr Das said he had resigned because he was not happy with the party leadership working at the behest of a 'caucus'. He, however, denied he had any plans to join the Bahujan Samaj Party. "I have not taken any decision till now," he said.To a question whether he was unhappy over inclusion of Mr Jitin Prasada, son of former UP Congress President Jintendra Prasada, Mr Das, a two-time Rajya Sabha member, replied in negative, saying he was against the caucus which was damaging the party interests. A former noted Badminton player, Mr Das is the son of former former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Banarasi Das Gupta who headed the UP government briefly during the Janata Party's rule in 1977. He was one of the leaders who had rebelled against the then prime minister Indira Gandhi to join the Janata Party.

The junior Das entered the political arena in early 90s and became the Mayor of Lucknow in 1994.

Akhilesh Das today is a well-known educationist of Lucknow and runs various educational and professional institutions, including an engineering college, dental colleges, a medical college and a management institute, in UP.

His proximity to former UP Chief Minister and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is well-known.

He also brings out a Hindi daily from Lucknow.

Interestingly, this is for the second time that Mr Das feels that he has been betrayed by Congress. During the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, he was asked to contest against former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee from Lucknow but was made to step back at the last moment in favour of Mr Ram Jethmalani, a noted lawyer.


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