Congress leader RS Surjewala on Friday said his colleague Ambika Soni had not left the party, but had merely asked for her “duties to be lightened”, hours after it was reported that she had resigned. Soni had said earlier in the day that she was quitting as the party’s general secretary in several states including Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The former minister said she was doing so because of poor health. She is a Rajya Sabha member from Punjab.

Her announcement came minutes after former Gujarat party leader Shankersinh Vaghela said he had been suspended from the party.

Soni, a Congress stalwart, had joined the party in 1969, under Indira Gandhi’s rule. She has been the head of the All India Mahila Congress and chief of the All India Congress Committee.