Congress general secretary Ajay Maken, who recently lost in Rajya Sabha polls from Haryana, resigned as in charge of party affairs in Rajasthan, expressing his “inability and unwillingness to continue” on the post in a letter to party chief Mallikarjun Kharge.
The announcement comes just a few weeks before the party’s 3,570 km Bharat Jodo Yatra led by former party chief Rahul Gandhi is set to enter Rajasthan on December 5.
According to Congress sources, the former Union minister sent his resignation to Kharge on November 8 even as issues of internal fighting in the Rajasthan unit continue to haunt the party.
In his one-page letter to president Kharge, Maken cited the developments on September 25, which, he said, warrants a new in charge of Rajasthan.
On September 25, a legislative party meeting called by observers Maken and Kharge in Jaipur was boycotted by chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s loyalists. The meeting was called to choose the successor of Gehlot, who was touted to be the first choice of the Gandhi family for the party’s top post.
Over 70 MLAs of the Gehlot loyalists had skipped the legislative party meeting and threatened to resign if Sachin Pilot was to be elevated as Rajasthan CM.
Maken said it was “imperative to have a new in charge as soon as possible”, citing Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra’s entry in Rajasthan in the first week of December and the by-election taking place on December 4.
The Congress leader stated that he wants to concentrate in Delhi through trade unions and NGOs and intends to raise the issues of air pollution, and fight for the rights of street vendors, slum dwellers and residents of unauthorised colonies, for whom he made specific valuable contributions as the minister in the Union and state governments.
Maken said, “Wedded to the ideology of Congress for the last three generations and being in active Congress politics for over 40 years, I will always remain an ardent follower of Rahul Gandhi, whom I trust and have faith in beyond words.”
He tendered his resignation as a general secretary along with his party peers when Kharge took charge as the new Congress president.
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Tariq Anwar, who is also a member of the party disciplinary committee said, “We had sent show cause notices to the three people in Rajasthan and we have received replies from them.”
“The decision on their replies will be taken by the Congress president,” Anwar said.