Alleging lack of leadership and increasing factionalism in the party, Rajkot Congress corporator Nitin Ramani on Tuesday resigned from the party. The Congress, however, said Ramani, who represents ward no. 13 in Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), will face disciplinary action for “continuously overstepping party line”.
“I feel, I’m unable to give voice to issues of people while I am a member of the Congress and fed up of groupism in the party. I’m resigning from Congress out of my free will. Of late, the internal wrangling in Congress has been at its peak. I had drawn attention of the party on-and-off over the issue. But I feel, the top leadership is not capable of responding to any of my letters, and that the party leaders are using coercive means to suppress voice of party workers,” Ramani said in a press release in Gujarati, which was released just after he met Congress in-charge president of Rajkot city unit Mahesh Rajput and submitted his resignation.
“Congress lacks leadership. There is no regular party president in Rajkot city unit nor is there a leader of opposition (LoP) in RMC who enjoys confidence of all corporators of the party. Therefore, I was left to fend for myself and had to remain dependent on my personal contacts to get work of my constituents done,” he told The Indian Express.
Ramani’s resignation comes amid disqualification proceedings against two other Congress corporators — Dharmishthaba Jadeja and Paresh Harsoda — for allegedly skipping successive meetings of general board of the RMC. Dharmishthaba has moved the Gujarat High Court against her disqualification by Rajkot Municipal Commissioner. At present, the BJP holds 37 seats and Congress 33 in the RMC.
Ramani had joined the BJP in 1994 and stayed in the party for over two decades. After the BJP denied him a ticket to contest the RMC election in 2015, Ramani defected to the Congress and won from ward no.13. But of late, he was seen gravitating towards the BJP. He had even attended an event of state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani last month.
Ramani said he has not decided on resigning as corporator also, and whether to rejoin the BJP. The Congress rejected Ramani’s charges of leadership void and factionalism, and said that Ramani himself was facing the axe. “The party had sought an explanation from him after he attended an event of Jitu Vaghani but he did not respond. We had asked him last week to resign from the standing committee of RMC but he refused to obey. Therefore, he was likely to face disciplinary action,” Rajput said.