Veteran Congress leader and seven-time Member of Parliament C K Jaffer Sharrief has ended his over six-decade-long association with the party.
He was reportedly upset over the way he was treated by the Congress, which denied him a ticket to contest his last Lok Sabha elections from Bangalore Central constituency.
Sharif has sent his resignation to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi before leaving for Mecca on March 19.
The Janata Dal - Secular is already trying to woo the disgruntled leader, one of the towering figures of Karnataka politics, to join the party and contest the polls from Mysore.
Though Sharrief has claimed that he wants to stay away from politics for the time being, he has expressed his appreciation for JD-S chief Deve Gowda, who, he claims, has given him more respect than the Congress.
Sharrief is one of the oldest members of the Congress.
He has often recalled his days as a young politician, when he interacted with the likes of Congress stalwarts Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri
Incidentally, JD-S leader H D Kumaraswamy, in an earlier interview that Rediff.com, had expressed confidence that Sharrief would join the party.
“Once he is back from Mecca, he will tell us whether he wants to contest from Bangalore Central or Mysore,” he had said.
Sharrief has squarely blamed Congress President Sonia Gandhi for the unfair treatment meted out to him. He even compared it to the hostility received by then Congress leader Sharad Pawar and party president Sitaram Kesari at the hands of Sonia’s supporters.
Sharrief has also raked up the close bond he enjoyed with late prime minister Indira Gandi, pointing out that he was one of the leaders responsible for bringing Rajiv Gandhi into politics.
The Karnataka unit of the Congress did try its best to placate Sharrief, as he has a considerable hold over the Muslim voters in the state, but could not persuade him to change his mind.
Image: C K Jaffer Sharrief with late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi ' Photograph: http://www.ckjaffersharief.com/