Bhubaneswar, May 30 : Veteran tribal leader and former Odisha chief minister Giridhar Gamang on Saturday resigned from the primary membership of the Congress.
He took the decision as he was “humiliated” in the party since 1999, the former union minister and nine-time Congress MP from Koraput Lok Sabha constituency said in his resigtion faxed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Though he maintained that he would not join any other party, his son hinted that both would join a tiol political party soon.
“I announce my resigtion from the primary membership of the Congress with immediate effect. I have taken the decision as I have been thoroughly humiliated by the party leadership who have insulted me,” he told media persons here. Gamang said that he wanted to be a free man although he had no intenion to quit politics.
He also said that he had not quit the Congress to join another party.
“I have done nothing wrong. I wanted to be free. There is no question of returning to the Congress once I have taken the decision,” the former chief minister said. Giving reasons for his parting of ways with the Congress, he said he was quitting the party since it did not come to his support over his controversial vote against the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in Parliament on April 17, 1999.
“Since 1999, I have been humiliated in public for bringing down the Vajpayee government with my vote. Till today, neither any party nor any leaders have come out with the truth and protected me from public criticism. “I feel my loyalty to the party has turned into a liability for the party,” Gamang said. The tribal leader said that he had voted against the then BJP-led government in deference to the whip issued by the Congress. Even though he denied joining any political party, his elder son Sisir Gamang hinted that he along with his father would join a tiol party in the near future.
“We will join a tiol party in the near future. Everything will be clear within four-five days,” said Sishir.Giridhar Gamang was the chief minister of Odisha from February 17, 1999 to December 6, 1999. The nine-time Congress MP has also been a four-time union minister. (IANS)