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After Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma Quits From Top Congress Position

In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi ahead of the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, Sharma said he felt left out of the party's pre-election decision-making and that his self-respect was "non-negotiable"

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INDIA. Himachal Pradesh: Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Sunday said he was stepping down as head of the party’s Himachal Pradesh “steering committee”, days after a similar move in Jammu and Kashmir, led by veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad.

In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi ahead of the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, Sharma said he felt left out of the party’s pre-election decision-making and that his self-respect was “non-negotiable”, sources said.

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Azad, another member of the dissident group in the Congress dubbed ‘G-23’, resigned as the chairman of the campaign committee as well as the panel on political affairs in Jammu and Kashmir a few days ago.

Sharma told the Congress chief that he was ignored in the consultation process for the elections. However, he told her that he would continue to campaign for party candidates in the state.

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The former union minister and deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha was on April 26 appointed as the chairman of the party’s ‘management committee’ in Himachal Pradesh.

Both Azad and Sharma are prominent leaders of the G-23 grouping, which criticised the party leadership’s decision and called for a radical overhaul to revive the party’s declining fortunes.

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A grouping of prominent veterans including Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Manish Tewari is insisting on genuine elections right from the block to the party’s apex decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee.

Sharma, who is considered one of the party’s top leaders from Himachal Pradesh, told the Congress president in his letter that his self-respect was hurt as he was not consulted or invited to any of the party meetings.

The Congress hopes to unseat the BJP in the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections scheduled later this year, in which Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has held three-way contests for the first time in many years.

Sharma, who first contested the parliamentary elections in 1982 and was given a Rajya Sabha ticket by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984, has been a member of the Rajya Sabha ever since and has held several key positions in the party.

Also Read: 3 Jharkhand Congress Leaders Detained With Huge Cash In Bengal

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