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Denied ticket, RJD minister quits

March 29, 2004 14:31 IST

The Rashtriya Janata Dal suffered a jolt with its minister Cheddi Paswan resigning from the Bihar government and quitting from the party in Patna on Monday.

The minister quit to protest against the denial of party ticket from Sasaram Lok Sabha constituency. Paswan met Chief Minister Rabri Devi and RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav and gave his resignation letter.

In his one-line resignation letter, Paswan said, "I am resigning from the Cabinet as Minister of State for Weights and Measure and Horticulture in Agriculture Department. Kindly accept my resignation."

The RJD chief had left the seat for Congress nominee Meira Kumar, daughter of late Jagjivan Ram.

"Yadav has sold the ticket of Sasaram Lok Sabha seat to Meira Kumar ignoring the hard work put in by genuine party workers like me. I have decided to resign from the Rabri Devi ministry as well as the RJD in protest against the insult," Paswan stated.

Paswan, who twice represented Sasaram in Parliament in 1989 and 1991, but lost in 1996 and 1999, said he had been preparing to contest after getting assurance from the RJD leadership. "I was preparing for the elections. And now they have sold the ticket to a Congress candidate, who does not have any support base among people," he said.

Paswan charged Yadav of 'ignoring' the genuine party workers and promoting the interest of his family and called his slogan of social justice as 'hollow'.

On whether he would join any other party or contest as an independent, he said, "I will not contest this election, but would work for the defeat of Meira Kumar and other RJD nominees in the polls."

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