Senior Congress leader and manifesto committee chairman CK Jaffer Sharief reportedly faxed his resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi on Friday following differences over distribution of nomination forms for next month’s elections to the legislative assembly in Karnataka.
Upset by the denial of party nominations to his grandsons, Sharief spoke of poor representation of minorities in the two lists announced for the polls in his letter, Congress sources said. The leader also expressed his discontent over the party’s decision to field former Union civil aviation minister CM Ibrahim.
Sharief will meet Sonia in Delhi on Saturday and explain what made him take the decision. Party sources told this correspondent that Digvijay Singh and Prithviraj Chavan met Sharief and convinced him not to resign but meet Sonia.
Sharief remained incommunicado to party colleagues, supporters and the media after declining to attend a meeting chaired by Singh and Chavan to contain dissent and coax rebels to withdraw from the fray. “He called Mallikarjun Kharge this morning and told him that he will not be able to make it because he was unwilling. He did not mention a word about leaving the party,” sources in state unit of Congress said.
Singh and Chavan instructed all state leaders to talk to rebels and to ensure that all of them withdrew their papers on Saturday (April 26, the last day for withdrawing nominations).
Even if the party mollify Sharief, there are fears that his perceived marginalisation may influence Muslim voters. With several independent Muslim candidates in the fray, the threat to the Congress vote could be real.