Jairam Ramesh quit as union minister to devote fully to Congress campaign for Lok Sabha elections as part of a strategy drawn up by the party.
54-year-old Ramesh,who was Minister of State for Commerce and Power,sent in his papers to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. President Pratibha Patil has accepted Ramesh’s resignation.
Ramesh’s action came a day before the concluding session of the Lok Sabha amid expectations in political circles that dates for parliamentary elections would be announced in a week.
Ramesh represents Andhra Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha,on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The high profile minister,who was part of the election strategy team of Congress in 2004,said that he has put in his papers to focus on election campaigning.
An AICC secretary,Ramesh is on the Future Challenges Group of the AICC which has Rahul Gandhi as its member.