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Anand Sharma Resigns as Head of Congress' Steering Committee in Himachal Pradesh

This comes days after Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from the campaign committee and the J&K political affairs committee.

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India
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Former Union Minister Anand Sharma on Sunday, 21 August, resigned from the chairmanship of the steering committee of the Himachal Pradesh Congress.

In a thread of tweets, Sharma said he is a "lifelong congressman" and that the Congress' ideology runs in his blood, but added that "given the continuing exclusion and insults, as a self-respecting person, I was left with no choice."

This comes just days after veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from the campaign committee as well as the Jammu and Kashmir political affairs committee.

Both Sharma and Azad were among the 23 leaders who had written to interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi in August 2020 demanding an election to the post of party president as well as the Congress Working Committee (CWC). The group became to be known as 'G23'.

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Sharma, in his letter to Sonia Gandhi, reportedly said that he was "ignored" in party consultations ahead of the Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh. The leader also wrote that his "self respect is non-negotiable."

However, he told Gandhi that he would continue to campaign for the party candidates in the state.

Sharma's Resignation Could Cost Congress Heavily in State Polls

The former union minister and deputy leader of the Congress in Rajya Sabha was appointed as the chairman of the steering committee in Himachal Pradesh on April 26. He is seen as one of the veteran leaders of the Congress party.

His decision comes close on the heels of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections slated to take place in November this year. His resignation is likely to hurt the Congress party's efforts to do well in the polls and defeat the ruling BJP in the state.

Sharma, who first contested Assembly elections in 1982 and was given a Rajya Sabha ticket by then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984, has been a Rajya Sabha member ever since and has occupied several key positions in the party.

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