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AC Chaudhary quits Cabinet
Yoginder Gupta/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Haryana Minister for Urban Local Bodies AC Chaudhary gave a jolt to the Congress when he submitted his resignation from the Cabinet to AICC president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi this evening. Though he did not take the call on his mobile, sources close to him confirmed that he had sent his resignation. The resignation was handed over to Madhvan, a personal aide of Sonia, by a messenger of Chaudhary.

The sources say Chaudhary has submitted his resignation in protest against what he says the denial of the party ticket to any of the Punjabis (settlers from West Pakistan), who constituted 35 per cent of the state’s population.

They said though the minister had resigned from the Cabinet, he had assured Sonia that he would continue to work for the party.

Chaudhary is believed to have told the high command that going by their population, the Punjabis had a claim over three Lok Sabha seats in the state. But the party did not give them even a single seat.

Chaudhary was a claimant for the ticket from the Faridabad constituency, which has been given to sitting MP Avtar Singh Badhana. Chaudhary, along with certain other MLAs from Faridabad district like Karan Singh Dalal and Mahendra Pratap Singh, were opposed to the re-nomination of Badhana.

It was a bad day for the state Congress. In the evening, certain TV channels raised a storm in the state’s cup of politics when they ran a strip that Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had threatened to resign from his post if the Sonepat seat was given to his Finance Minister Birender Singh. The channels also wrote that Birender Singh, too, had threatened to quit if he was not given the ticket from Sonepat.

The Congress is yet to decide its candidates from Sonepat and Bhiwani. Various factions are lobbying hard to secure the ticket for their nominees. Within a short time, the channels withdrew both strips after Hooda and Birender Singh denied having threatened to resign from their posts. Hooda told The Tribune that the news was baseless.

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