35 Punjab Congress legislators submit resignations to party

May 17th, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Amritsar, May 17 (IANS) At least 35 out of 44 Congress legislators in Punjab Saturday submitted their resignations to state Congress president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal to protest against “the fear instilled among voters” by the ruling Akali Dal in the recently concluded local body elections. Bhattal, a former Punjab chief minister, confirmed the submission of resignations to her by 35 legislators here.

“I will take these resignations to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to decide the further course of action,” Bhattal announced after a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), which she heads.

“The Akalis have instilled fear among the voters. There was no democracy in the PRI (panchayati raj institutions) polls. We feel that there will be no fair polling in the May 22 by-election in the Amritsar assembly seat and the May 26 panchayat elections,” Bhattal said.

Seeking imposition of president’s rule in the state, the Congress leaders said they would surround Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Chandigarh May 24 to protest against “the murder of democracy” in Punjab by the Akalis.

Former chief minister Amarinder Singh, whose strained relations with Bhattal are well known, absented himself from the CLP meeting along with several legislators loyal to him.

Congress sources confirmed those legislators who did not attend the CLP meet and did not submit their resignations were all Amarinder Singh loyalists.

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