M A I N   N E W S

I will stay in Congress, says Bhajan
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
“Mere Man Ka Bhoj Halka Ho Gaya Hai (burden on my heart has lessened).” This was the first reaction of the former Chief Minister, Bhajan Lal, after the news came that his resignation from the presidentship of the Haryana Congress had been accepted by the AICC President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

Mr Bhajan Lal, who was at his Panchkula residence along with his two sons, Mr Chander Mohan and Mr Kuldip Bishnoi, told TNS that he would remain in the Congress and would try to put the house in order from within the party. He admitted that he was compelled to resign from the party post because of “discrimination against genuine Congressmen” by the high command.

Several supporters of Mr Bhajan Lal came to meet him as soon as the report of the acceptance of his resignation came.

Later, Mr Chander Mohan, who is the Deputy Chief Minister in the Hooda Government, and Mr Bishnoi, who is MP from Bhiwani, went together in a car.

Mr Bishnoi told TNS that Mr Bhajan Lal had never hesitated from sacrificing his post. When the interests of Haryana were being threatened by the Rajiv-Longowal accord, Mr Bhajan Lal stepped down from the post of Chief Minister, instead of compromising. Similarly, now when the party workers were being ignored, he had resigned from the party post.

He said they would remain in the Congress and struggle to set the things right.

Mr Mange Ram Gupta, former Finance Minister and close associate of Mr Bhajan Lal, said nobody had asked for the resignation of Mr Bhajan Lal. “He himself offered to resign because his supporters are being ignored in the party. His supporters had been telling him that what was the use of remaining as party president when he could not protect their interests. By resigning Mr Bhajan Lal has shown that he was not after any post.”

Mr Gupta said under Mr Bhajan Lal’s leadership the Congress had won nine Lok Sabha seats and 67 Assembly seats. “If in the next elections, the party improves upon this or even retains the same number of seats, it would be presumed that the high command was correct in ignoring Mr Bhajan Lal.”

He said Mr Bhajan Lal’s resignation was sent to 10, Janpath(residence of Mrs Gandhi) on June 25 through a special messenger.

Though no senior leader of the Bhajan Lal camp blamed any particular leader in the high command for the sidelining of his supporters in the party set-up, junior functionaries blamed Mr Ahmed Patel, Political Adviser to Mrs Gandhi, and Mr Janardan Dwivedi, AICC General Secretary in charge of Haryana, for “disrespectful behaviour” with Mr Bhajan Lal.

In view of the assertion made by Mr Bhajan Lal and his supporters that they would remain within the Congress, political observers feel that in short term his resignation would not affect the party. But nothing can be said how the things would shape up in the long term.

Meanwhile, the Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Dharambir Singh, and the Secretary of the Pradesh Congress, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, have welcomed the acceptance of Mr Bhajan Lal’s resignation.




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