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Congress accepts Alva's resignation

November 12, 2008 12:36 IST
Last Updated: November 12, 2008 13:25 IST

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Cracking the whip, the Congress on Wednesday accepted the resignation of party general secretary Margaret Alva and also relieved her as a member of the Congress Working Committee, in the wake of her stinging criticism over the distribution of tickets in the party.

The action was taken a day after the 66-year-old leader sent her resignation to party chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] in the wake of the controversy over her charge about sale of party tickets in the Karnataka assembly polls.

Alva had come under sharp attack from a number of leaders including Rahul Gandhi [Images], Digvijay Singh, Ashok Gehlot and the party's media department chairperson M Veerappa Moily. The refrain in the party was that the All India Congress Commitee general secretary had committed a 'gross breach of discipline'.

Alva's case was referred to the Disciplinary Committee Chairman A K Antony, before whom the leader had appeared some days ago.

Alva has been sulking for the past few months over the denial of ticket to her son Nivedith and it was compounded when her bete noire R V Deshpande was made the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief despite her reservations.

Alva had been i-ncharge of party affairs in several important states, including Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana.

The announcement of her resignation being accepted was made by AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

Antony has been made i-ncharge of Maharashtra, Motilal Vora will look after party affairs in Haryana, Mohsina Kidwai in Punjab and Chandigarh and Oscar Fernandes in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.

Antony had met AICC chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday and submitted a report after seeking an explanation from Alva on her outbursts in the media.

The action against Alva is being seen as unprecedented as it is for the first time in Gandhi's 10-year-tenure that a party general secretary has resigned over charges of indiscipline.

Rahul Gandhi had rejected her charges saying he was 'not unhappy' about the ticket distribution. Moily felt that Alva's position in the party hierarchy was 'untenable' in view of the indiscipline committed by her.

Gandhi, who is AICC general secretary in-charge of Youth Congress and the National Student's Union of India, had evaded a reply on whether Alva had committed breach of discipline by making allegations of 'sale' of party tickets in the Karnataka assembly elections.

Party general secretaries Digvijay Singh and Ashok Gehlot said her attack was made out of 'frustration' and that tickets were not sold in the Congress.

However, a couple of voices supported her allegations. Prominent among them were former Union Ministers Yogendra Makwana from Gujarat and R L Jalappa from her state Karnataka.

C K Jaffer Sharief, whose grandson was also denied a ticket in the Karnataka elections and was referred to by Alva, said there was no need for her to talk to the media.

"It's an internal matter. She is a central election committee member and she could have taken up the issue with the party president. I was also upset but I went and talked then and there," he said.

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