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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

Expelled Cong leader Venod Sharma resigns as MLA

PTI   Chandigarh, May 02, 2014
First Published: 15:38 IST(2/5/2014) | Last Updated: 15:39 IST(2/5/2014)

Former Union minister and sitting Congress MLA from Ambala City, Venod Sharma, who was recently expelled by the party, today resigned as member of the assembly.

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His resignation has been accepted by the speaker, official sources said.

Notably, on April 30, former Haryana minister and Independent MLA from Sirsa City, Gopal Kanda, who had announced to launch his own political outfit, had withdrawn his support to the Hooda government.

However, in the 90-member House, there is no threat to the Congress government in Haryana, which now has 44 members on its own that includes the five legislators of the Haryana Janhit Congress who joined it over four years back, besides also enjoying the support of the six Independent legislators and lone BSP MLA.

Sharma, once considered as close confidant of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had severed his four decade old ties with the Congress on March 5, citing that he was upset over several issues including "anti-democratic" functioning of the party.

Sharma was likely to float his party, sources said. The Haryana assembly polls are due in October this year.

On March 9, Sharma had held a public function in Kurukshetra, where he heaped praise on BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and termed him as a man of vision who wants to take the country forward and had also offered full support to any party, organisation or individual who will "help in making the Gujarat strongman the next PM".

Venod Sharma was eyeing the Karnal Lok Sabha seat on behalf of BJP and then later as an alliance of saffron party HJC-BL nominee, but was not nominated following opposition from Sushma Swaraj and some other saffron party leaders.

Sharma was expelled by the Congress on April 19, along with 18 other leaders including Gurgaon MP, Rao Inderjit Singh, who had quit the party and contested as BJP candidate from Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat.

A former Union minister, Sharma had to resign during 1999 parliamentary polls after his son Manu Sharma's involvement in the Jessica Lal murder case. Following his son's conviction and sentence, Venod Sharma was sidelined by Congress high command.

He, however, re-entered politics from Haryana in 2004 assembly elections when he won from Ambala city constituency.

In the 90-member Haryana Assembly, Congress has a strength of 44, Independents supporting the Hooda government are six, lone BSP MLA is also supporting the state government, one more Independent MLA is Gopal Kanda, INLD has 30 MLAs, BJP has four members, HJC-BL has one legislator each while three seats of Sohna, Kalanwali and Ambala City are vacant.

Apart from Dharambir Singh, who represented Sohna, SAD's lone MLA Charanjit Singh who was member from Kalanwali assembly segment, had quit his party last month to contest from the Sirsa parliamentary seat as INLD candidate.


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