In a move bound to create political furore, at least within the ruling Congress, two-time Ghumarwin legislator Rajesh Dharmani again quit the post of chief parliamentary secretary on Saturday.
Dharmani had earlier resigned from the post on October 3, as he was upset over chief minister Virbhadra Singh “giving preference” to first-time Bilaspur legislator Bhambar Thakur. A day later, he retracted his resignation after the intervention of transport minister and Brahmin leader GS Bali and industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri.
“I had earlier been asked to continue as the CPS till the Lok Sabha elections. Now that the polls are over, I have tendered my resignation,” Dharmani told HT on Saturday, adding that post was “only customary”.
“Being a CPS, one cannot really serve the public. I had resigned earlier, but was persuaded by senior Congress leaders to rethink my decision. All this while, I have not been happy being a CPS,” he claimed.
Sources said Dharmani, who is an alumnus of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, had been upset ever since he was sworn in as the chief parliamentary secretary with three others.
The legislator, who owes his allegiance to senior Congress leader and irrigation and public health minister Vidya Stokes, had vied for a ministerial berth, but he was ignored, and Virbhadra later appointed his own supporter, former forest minister Ram Lal Thakur, as the chairman of the Hiamchal Pradesh Twenty Point Programme, a cabinet rank.
Since he retracted from his resignation in October last year, Dharmani had been lying low, returning his official vehicle and staying in the quarters allotted to the legislators.
Virbhadra denied that he had received any resignation from Dharmani. “I have not received any resignation from anyone so far. These are mere conjectures on the part of the media,” he claimed.
Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said he had received no information or communication from Dharmani about his resignation.
“I have been receiving this kind of information only from mediapersons, and have not been conveyed anything of this sort officially,” he claimed.
Dhamrani’s resignation is being seen as a sign of the brewing discontentment among a section of Congress legislators.