Congress leader Jairam Ramesh resigned as Union minister on Wednesday to devote himself full-time to the party’s strategy team for the general elections.
Fifty-four- year-old Ramesh, Union minister of state for Commerce and Power, was a key member of the party’s core team that successfully guided it to a surprise victory in the 2004 elections.
Ramesh confirmed that he had resigned to concentrate on elections. “I will be working full time for the polls,’’ he told Hindustan Times.
The clicking of Aam Admi slogan with the rural voters in the country is attributed to Ramesh’s success, who had, alongwith the other members of the war team, asked the party to concentrate on the regional media for putting its message across during the last polls.
The forthcoming Lok Sabha polls are crucial for the party that is hoping to renew its mandate with the people. With barely two months left for the elections, the core team, of which Ramesh will be a part, will have to fine tune the party’s manifesto, publicity and campaign.
It was nearly three months back that Ramesh had reportedly offered to quit the Council of Ministers and devote himself to party work. On Tuesday, sources said, Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked him to do so. Less than 24 hours later, he put in his papers as a minister. President Pratibha Patil has accepted his resignation.
Presently holding the organisational position of All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary, Ramesh is also a member of the Future Challenges Group of the AICC, which also includes party general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
Ramesh has also been a member of the National Advisory Council headed for some time by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. HTC