Bhubaneswar | Veteran Congress leader, nine times Lok Sabha MP and former Odisha chief minister Giridhar Gamang today resigned from the primary membership of the party.
Mr Gamang, who announced his resignation from the Congress party at a press conference here, said he had sent his resignation letter to party president Sonia Gandhi by fax and ruled out his return to the party fold in future.
A veteran and popular tribal leader in Odisha, Mr Gamang had served the union ministry for eleven years during his five-decade-old political life in the Congress party. He was the chief minister for a brief period in 1999.
Mr Gamangs wife Hema Gamang, also a former Congres MP and MLA, had last year resigned from the party and joined the Biju Janata Dal. Ms Gamang then resigned from the party protesting the style and functioning of the state party president Jayadeb Jena.
The former chief minister said, It is a great pain for me to leave the Congress party but I have no option but to resign from the primary membership of the party as I was ignored and humiliated by the Congress ever since I had voted the no confidence motion against the Vajpayee government in 1999. Mr Gamang while he was holding the chief minister’s post , had participated in the no confidence motion, being a member of the Lok Sabha.The veteran tribal leader said the Congress party for whom he had dedicated his entire life, had never come to his rescue after the incident.
” I was rather humiliated by the party after the incident. Asked why he took such a long time to resign from the party, Mr Gamang quipped he was waiting for the right time. Former union minister and senior Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das from Odisha has described Mr Gamang’s resignation as ‘most unfortunate’.
He told reporters that Mr Gamang had resigned from the party under the pressure of his son who has been making statements for last few days that his father would soon resign from the Congress party as he was ignored in the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the selection of candidates from his home constituency.
Meanwhile, political pandits here said the resignation of Mr Gamang will give a big blow to the Congress in the state and more particularly in the tribal region of the undivided Koraput district.
When asked whether he would join any other political party, Mr Gamang parried the question stating that he had not resigned from the Congress party to join any other political party. However, he hinted that if any other political party will approach him, he would consider it.
Biju Janata Dal(BJD) spokesman Amar Prasad Satpathy in his reaction said the resignation of Mr Gamang, a popular tribal leader in Odisha from the Congress, clearly indicated that the party is losing its importance in the state and the Congress leaders were also losing the confidence of party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
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