Upset over being constantly "ignored and humiliated" within the party, former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal on Saturday resigned as the state Congress president.
Lal faxed his resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi complaining that he and his supporters were being constantly ignored and humiliated in state politics ever since the Bhupinder Singh Hooda Government came to power in March last year.
Speculations were rife in political circles that Lal could resign from his post or even quit the Congress and form a new regional party.
Sources close to the leader said the recent announcement of state Congress office bearers and executives, in which Lal was clearly overlooked and none of his supporters were nominated, was the last straw before his exit.
Lal tried to meet Sonia to express his displeasure but did not get any appointment.
The Congress had appointed Ram Prakash as the state's working president earlier this year.
Lal, who led the Congress to victory in assembly elections in February last year, was widely tipped to become the chief minister but the central leadership opted for Hooda.
At that time, Hooda was an MP and got elected to the assembly later.
Kuldeep Bishnoi, Lal's youngest son and Congress MP from Bhiwani, had last month criticised the Rs 250 billion deal between the state government and Reliance Industries Ltd for a special economic zone, saying it was against the interests of the state and its farmers.
Bishnoi, who was served a show cause notice by the Congress a fortnight ago, said on Friday that he would continue to oppose the Reliance deal. His outburst was embarrassing for Hooda and the Haryana government, party sources said.
Incidentally, Bhajan Lal's elder son Chander Mohan is the Deputy Chief Minister in the Hooda Government.