Debating India

Sonia resigns as RGF chairperson

Sunday 9 April 2006

Special Correspondent

Comes ahead of EC notification for the by-election to Rae Bareli seat

Quits as head of Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust Likely to adopt similar course on all other trusts she heads

NEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has quit as chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. The move is seen as a continuation of her resignation from the Lok Sabha and as head of the National Advisory Council in the wake of the "office of profit" controversy.

Ms. Gandhi’s resignation comes ahead of next week’s Election Commission notification for the May 8 by-election to the Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency, which fell vacant after she resigned last month.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, who confirmed it, said: "As before, we reiterate that these are not offices of profit. The resignation has been done to obviate even the semblance of any allegation of conflict of interest in the run-up to the by-election."

Reports from Punjab said Ms. Gandhi had quit as chairperson of the Jallianwala Bagh National Trust, Amritsar. Party sources said she had also quit the Kamla Nehru Memorial Trust, the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust and the Swaraj Bhawan Trust that she was heading. She is expected to adopt a similar course on all other trusts on ascertaining the office of profit clause.

The office of profit issue snowballed into a major controversy after Jaya Bachchan of the Samajwadi Party lost her Rajya Sabha membership last month for holding the office of Chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council.

See online : The Hindu

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