Rajasthan’s Agriculture Minister Lalchand Kataria has resigned from the Congress-led state government after the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday. The chief minister’s office, however, said they were yet to receive the minister’s resignation letter.
In his letter, dated May 25, Kataria said it was not “morally right” for him to continue as minister after the party’s debacle in the polls. The Bharatiya Janata Party made a clean sweep of all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the states for a second time in a row, becoming the first party to do so.
Kataria claimed that he was “sacrificing” his ministerial post because of his party’s heavy defeat. He wrote that he will “continue to work for the people of his constituency” for the rest of his tenure and “strive to fulfill the expectations of the people”.
Kataria was elected from the Jhotwara Assembly seat in the December elections and had served as a former Union minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre.
On May 26, two other Rajasthan ministers called for “introspection” and “accountability” after the loss in the elections, the newspaper reported. Cooperative Minister Udaylal Anjana said there was “talk in the town that the chief minister [Ashok Gehlot] would have been able to work more in other constituencies had he been free.” Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Ramesh Chand Meena warned that the defeat “should not be taken lightly”.
On Monday, PTI reported that Congress President Rahul Gandhi has accused former Union minister P Chidambaram, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of placing their sons above the party during the election campaign. The report claimed that he made the remark during the Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on May 25.
Later on Monday, Gehlot said Gandhi has been authorised by the working committee to decide on changes required in the organisation or in states ruled by it, PTI reported.