Congress leader Anand Sharma on Sunday resigned as the chief of the party’s steering committee for Himachal Pradesh. The panel had been set up as part of the party’s preparation for Assembly elections scheduled to be held in the state around November.

In a tweet, Sharma said that the Congress ideology runs his blood, but he made the decision given “the continuing exclusion and insults”. He said that “as a self-respecting person”, he was left with no other choice.

In a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Sharma said that his self-respect was non-negotiable, unidentified officials told PTI. The Congress leader also said that he has been ignored in the party’s consultation process.

Sharma, however, added that he would continue to campaign for the party candidates in the state, the officials said, citing his resignation letter.

His resignation days after another senior Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad, declined to be the party’s campaign committee head and a member of political affairs panel of the Jammu and Kashmir unit.

Azad resigned on Tuesday, after the All India Congress Committee appointed Vikar Rasool Wani, who is considered close to him, was appointed as the party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit president. Wani was appointed to the post after former chief GA Mir quit, following open revolt by Azad loyalists in the Union Territory.

Both Sharma and Azad are part of the dissenting group of 23, or G-23. The group has been pushing for collective and inclusive leadership in the Congress since August 2020, when the dissenting leaders wrote a letter to Gandhi to press for sweeping changes in the party.

Sharma, a former Union minister, was appointed as chairperson of the steering committee in Himachal Pradesh on April 26.