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Veteran Congress leader Giridhar Gamang quits party

Bhubaneswar: Former Odisha Chief Minister and nine-time MP Giridhar Gamang on Saturday announced his resignation from the Congress alleging humiliation by the party which he served for over 43 years. "I have sent my resignation letter to AICC president Sonia Gandhi. Since the time of Vajpayee government's fall due to one vote in 1999, I have been humiliated and lost self respect. Though I voted against the Vajpeyee government in wake of a whip, the party did not come to my rescue at any point of time," Gamang told reporters here. Stating that he has not decided whether to join any other political party, Gamang said, "There is no question of returning to Congress again after resigning from it." In his letter to Sonia Gandhi, Gamang said, "With a heavy heart and deep agony, I tender my resignation from the primary membership of the Congress. Please accept my resignation." Gamang, who was elected from Odisha's Koraput Lok Sabha segment eight times in a row from the 5th Lok Sabha in 1972, said he was again elected to the lower house of Parliament from the same seat in 2004 for the ninth time. The Congress veteran had also been a Union Minister under the Prime Ministership of Indira Gandhi for one year and five years each under Rajiv Gandhi and P V Narasihma Rao. However, the 1999 no-confidence motion against the then Vajpayee government became a turning point in his political life, Gamang said. Asked whether he will join any political party now, he called himself a "liability". "Why will any political party take me? I have been accused of defeating the Vajpayee government. Therefore, BJP may not accept me. There is no question of joining any regional party (BJD)," he said. Replying to a question whether he would float his new party, the prominent tribal leader said, "No. I will have my music party." Gamang is an expert in playing "Changu", a traditional musical instrument used by tribals of Koraput district. PTI

Updated : 31 May 2015 6:29 AM GMT
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