Congress leader upset over demand for proof of IAF strike, quits party
Patna, Mar 10: In what could be seen as a jolt to Bihar Congress ahead of the parliamentary election, senior leader and spokesman Vinod Sharma resigned on Saturday, contending that the party should not have demanded evidence of Balakot air strike.
In a letter addressed to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sharma said the party high command has hurt the sentiments of ground-level workers and the common people by raising questions over the "pre-emptive" strike on the terror camps in Balakot, days after the Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy.
The senior leader also said that he wrote to Rahul Gandhi several times in the last one month, apprising him of the sensibilities of the party workers in the state, but his requests were not entertained.
Terming the repeated demands for proof of air strike as "shameful and childish", he said, "I am resigning from the Congress with a heavy heart after serving it for 30 years. The party high command has hurt sentiments by breaking the Army's morale, while boosting the spirits of terrorists."
Sharma alleged that some Congress leaders have "strayed from the path shown by party's stalwarts Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi".
"Today, we (Congress members) are seen as Pakistani agents. I feel ashamed of being called a Congressman. Since the nation is above party, I am resigning from the Congress," he stated in his letter.
The senior leader also said that many party workers, who are disappointed with the high command''s stance over the air strike, may follow in his footsteps.
Without taking names, Sharma said he would join a party that puts nation ahead of "petty politics".
A former general secretary of Bihar Congress, Sharma had unsuccessfully fought the Paliganj assembly by-poll on a Congress ticket in 1996.
He also served as the president of National Students Union of India''s Bihar unit from 1996 to 2000.
On February 14, a convoy of vehicles carrying CRPF personnel was attacked by a suicide bomber in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, resulting in the death of 40 jawans.
Twelve days later, Indian Air Force jets crossed the Line of Control in Kashmir and pounded Jaish-e-Mohammed training camps in Pakistan.