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Sonia gives up honorary membership of PCI

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has given up her honorary membership of the Press Club of India (PCI) following a controversy triggered by factionalism in the club.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2009 20:49 IST

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has given up her honorary membership of the Press Club of India (PCI) following a controversy triggered by factionalism in the club.

Party sources said that in a letter to the secretary general of the club, AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said that in view of the "ongoing controversy" in the Press Club, Congress President Sonia Gandhi is giving up her honorary membership with immediate effect.

Sources said Gandhi also returned the membership card presented to her by the executive members of the club who had met her recently.

They had sought an appointment with her in view of the Golden Jubilee of the PCI and wanted her "blessings" and co-operation for constructing a new building of the club.

Congress had on Monday downplayed Gandhi's audience to the office-bearers of the club saying it was a "non-issue" for the party.

"As far as Congress is concerned, it is a non-issue. It is their (club's) internal matter. It is not our concern if the club is managed by A, B or C..." party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters on Monday.

The office-bearers, who met Gandhi, were removed from their posts by the general body meeting of the club. As elections are due in the PCI soon, rival factions are using the meeting with the Gandhi to score points against each other.

Singhvi said PCI was an institution and the party has no association with any faction. He said at the meeting with Gandhi, she was offered an honorary membership of the club which was accepted.