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Chhattisgarh minister resigns to protest ticket denial
Pradip Kumar Maitra, PTI
Raipur, November 10, 2003
First Published: 20:28 IST(9/11/2003)
Last Updated: 01:01 IST(10/11/2003)

The wrangling within the ruling Congress finally came out into the open when Minister of State for Industries Vidhan Mishra resigned in protest against the denial of the ticket to him from Dharsiva constituency in Raipur district.

Mishra faxed his resignation letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Sunday afternoon and copies of the resignation letter were sent to other members of Congress Working Committee (CWC), including the Chhattisgarh in-charge, Vilasrao Deshmukh.

However, Mishra did not send a copy of his resignation to the chief minister, Ajit Jogi. "I don't want to speak with him," he curtly said and pointed out that Jogi was instrumental in denying him the ticket.

It seems that Mishra will mobilise other Congress rebels and "expose" the leadership. "Several rebel Congressmen are in touch with me, particularly disgruntled Congressmen of Bilaspur, the home district of chief minister, Jogi" he claimed.

It was alleged that the state Economic Offence Wing (EOW) had given a secret report to the chief minister, a couple of years back that found seven ministers in Jogi cabinet were involved in corruption. Mishra was reportedly one of them.

"If I was denied on the basis of EOW report then why six other ministers were given tickets this time?" he retorted and said that he would expose the state leadership before party chief Sonia Gandhi for such doublespeak.

"I had a detailed talk with the senior party functionary RK Dhawan this morning. I apprised him about the latest developments in the state, particularly the post-ticket distribution scenario and sought an appointment from Soniaji in Delhi. He assured me that I would be given an audience on Tuesday," Mishra said.

"As I was denied the ticket, I have no moral right to continue as the minister of the state and hence I am resigning from the post," he said.

He continued, " I am a loyal Congress activist from the region who rose to such a post from students' politics. In view of my proven good track records, I was given a party ticket in 1993 and 1998. I was shocked and pained when I did not find my name in the official list of candidates, announced recently," he pointed out and sought a clarification from the party for the denial of ticket.


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