In a major embarrassment to Press Club of India (PCI), Congress President Sonia Gandhi has surrendered her honorary membership, barely a week after accepting it.
Gandhi cited the ongoing controversy in the institution as a reason for giving up her membership.
“In view of the ongoing controversy in the Press Club of India, Congress President Sonia Gandhi is giving up its honorary membership with immediate effect,’’ said a letter written on her behalf by Janardan Dwivedi, general secretary of All India Congress Committee.
The membership card, which was valid for life, was enclosed with the letter dated August 31 and marked to the general secretary/in charge of the PCI.
Earlier, the Congress president was put into an embarrassing situation when the team of 14 PCI members, who had called on her, was removed by an emergency general body meeting on August 22.
By returning the membership card, the party tried to contain the damage of seeing the Congress chief being dragged into the internal warfare of the club.
On Monday, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi had distanced the party from the club’s internal squabbles, maintaining that the party was concerned only with the institution, not those who man it.
The PCI has been seeking an appointment with the Congress chief for several months now through a spate of telephone calls and letters.
Besides discussing the golden jubilee of the club, the delegates also wanted her help in securing the land meant for a new PCI building.