Efforts on to Placate Anand Sharma After He Quit as Steering Committee Chief of Himachal Cong

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The Congress on Monday rushed to placate senior leader Anand Sharma after he resigned from the chairmanship of the party’s steering committee for poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, with AICC-in charge of state Rajiv Shukla meeting him and making efforts to iron out issues.

Sources said Shukla first met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and then went to Sharma to address his concerns. Congress general secretary, in-charge organisation, K C Venugopal also spoke to Sharma over phone to address the issues raised by him, they said.

In a jolt to the Congress ahead of Himachal Pradesh polls, Sharma on Sunday resigned from the chairmanship of the party’s steering committee for the state, saying he was left with no choice after the “continuing exclusion and insults”. Sharma, in a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, was learnt to have said he was not consulted on the planning for the assembly elections and cited several examples where he was not invited for discussions.

A source in the know of the developments said Sharma’s letter is with the Congress president and efforts are on to resolve the issue. A final call on the matter will be taken by Gandhi. Sharma’s resignation was a fresh setback to the Congress’ efforts to pacify dissenters after another leader of the G23 grouping Ghulam Nabi Azad stepped down as chairman of the campaign committee in Jammu and Kashmir a few days ago.

“I have resigned with a heavy heart from the Chairmanship of the Steering Committee of the Congress for the Himachal Elections. Reiterating that I am a lifelong Congressman and remain firm on my convictions. “Committed to Congress ideology that runs in my blood, let there be no doubts about this! However, given the continuing exclusion and insults, as a self-respecting person- I was left with no choice,” Sharma had said on Twitter on Sunday.

He wrote to the Congress president that his self-respect is “non-negotiable” and he has thus resigned from the post, sources had said. However, he had told Gandhi that he will continue to campaign for the party candidates in the state.

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