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Bhajan Lal’s resignation accepted
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today accepted Mr Bhajan Lal’s resignation from the presidentship of the Haryana PCC, a move which could intensify the simmering infighting in the state unit.

The Haryana strongman’s resignation was accepted just two days after a sulking Mr Bhajan Lal circulated an unsigned letter to the media, stating that he was stepping down as state Congress President because of the humiliation meted out to genuine party workers in Haryana.

Till two days ago, the AICC had maintained that the Congress President had not received any such letter. However, it was also indicated that Mr Bhajan Lal’s resignation would be accepted as the party leadership had taken strong exception to his decision to release his letter to the media, describing it as “most inappropriate” behaviour by a senior leader.

“Mr. Bhajan Lal crossed the lakshman rekha this time and this was totally unacceptable,” remarked a senior AICC office-bearer, adding that having taken this step, the question of contacting the senior leader just did not arise.

Party leaders, including party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi and Mr. Janardan Dwivedi, AICC General Secretary in charge of Haryana, did not say when the Congress received the letter but merely maintained that the resignation had been accepted with immediate effect.

Mr Ram Prakash, working President of the Haryana state unit, will take charge till a new PCC chief is appointed, it was stated.

AICC leaders dismissed Mr Bhajan Lal’s allegations as “baseless”, adding that it was absolutely incorrect to say that injustice had been done to him. It was repeatedly said that Mr Bhajan Lal had been Chief Minister for 13 years while his one son was the Deputy Chief Minister and another a Lok Sabha MP. It was also stated that the party had deferred to Mr Bhajan Lal’s seniority by appointing him PCC chief even after he boycotted the CLP meeting called last year to elect the Chief Minister.

Today’s decision caps several months of bitter infighting in the state unit which peaked when Mr Bhajan Lal’s supporters found no place in the reconstituted list of HPCC office-bearers. Prior to that, Mr Bhajan Lal’s son, Lok Sabha MP Kuldeep Bishnoi, was issued a show cause notice for publicly criticising the Hooda Government. Haryana Congress leaders believe that today’s decision is unlikely to deter Mr Bhajan Lal who can be expected to take his battle to the streets in his efforts to win the sympathy of non-Jat communities in the state.

The AICC, however, believes that Mr Bhajan Lal may find it difficult to sustain such a campaign given his ailing health and the fact that there is no immediate election in the state.





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