Former Odisha CM Giridhar Gamang quits Congress

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By NewsGram staff writer

Veteran tribal leader and former Odisha Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang on Saturday resigned from the primary membership of the Congress.

The former union minister and Congress MP from Koraput Lok Sabha constituency said in his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi that he took the decision as he was “humiliated” by the party since 1999.

“I announce my resignation from the primary membership of the Congress with immediate effect. I have taken the decision as I have been thoroughly humiliated by the party leadership who have insulted me,” he told the media.

“I have done nothing wrong. I wanted to be free. There is no question of returning to the Congress once I have taken the decision,” he added.

Giving reasons for parting ways with the Congress, he said the party did not come to his support over his controversial vote against the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in Parliament on April 17, 1999.

“Since 1999, I have been humiliated in public for bringing down the Vajpayee government with my vote. Till today, neither any party nor any leaders have come out with the truth and protected me from public criticism. I feel my loyalty to the party has turned into a liability for the party,” Gamang said. The tribal leader said that he had voted against the then BJP-led government in deference to the whip issued by the Congress.

Even though he denied joining any political party, his elder son Sisir Gamang hinted that he along with his father would join a national party in the near future. “We will join a national party in the near future. Everything will be clear within four-five days,” said Sisir.

Giridhar Gamang was the chief minister of Odisha from February 17, 1999 to December 6, 1999. The nine-time Congress MP has also been a four-time union minister.

(With inputs from IANS)