BHOPAL: In a shocker for Congress, which believed the worst was over in the recent ‘horse-trading’ crisis, one of the missing MLAs, reportedly holed up in Bengaluru, sent his resignation to chief minister
and speaker N P Tripathi on Thursday evening. It now heightens the suspense surrounding the three other missing legislators — two from Congress and an Independent.
Hardeep Singh Dang, legislator from Suwasra assembly seat in Mandsaur, has written that he is upset because he was not made a minister and his constituency neglected by the government.
Chief minister Kamal Nath said: “Hardeep Singh Dang is an MLA of our party. I have received news of his resignation. But I have still not received any letter in this regard from him, nor has he discussed this issue with me personally, or met me. Till the time I do not have a discussion with him on the matter, I do not think it’s appropriate to speak on it.”
Dang’s resignation came hours after Congress announced that “Operation
had failed and Operation Kamal had triumphed”. In the afternoon, Congress had claimed that Dang and the other three ‘missing’ MLAs were in touch with the CM and would return soon to the state. On Thursday morning, a local newspaper in Suwasra had carried a full-page advertisement, with a full-page picture of Dang and the message: “Main Congressi tha aur aajeevan Congressi rahunga (I was a Congressman and will remain one all my life).”
But around 8pm, Dang’s resignation — on his official letterhead — went viral on social media. “I was the only Congress MLA from Ujjain division in 2013 but neither did I get a ministerial berth nor were developmental projects carried out in my constituency. I was not even given proper accommodation for my stay in Bhopal,” Dang writes in his resignation.
Addressed to the CM, the letter says, “I had verbally expressed my pain to you and wrote a letter on February 16, 2019. But with deep regret, I would like to inform you that neither you nor your ministers paid any attention to my grievances. People of Suwasra sent me to the assembly for the second time with great hope and aspiration. But ever since your government has been formed, neither you nor your ministers pay attention to the development of my assembly seat.”
Dang is the only Sikh in the MP assembly and, being from a minority community, was expecting a ministerial berth. In the November 2018 assembly polls, Dang was the only Congress MLA elected from Mandsaur district. Seven other seats went to
despite the 2017 police firing that killed five farmers.
Two other Congress MLAs — former minister Bisahulal Singh and Raghuraj Singh Kansana — are apparently still in Bengaluru, so is independent MLA Surendra Singh Shera.
“Ministers of your government are not prepared to do the work I tell them, and only middlemen are getting their work done. Meanwhile, I make rounds of Bhopal for the smallest of works of my party workers and still they are not done. I obviously feel insulted,” Dang alleged, adding: “It appears as if your government belongs to 4 to 5 ministers. Congress MLAs are angry with this style of functioning.”
“It is perhaps my fault that I do not belong to any faction. I am not in Kamal Nath’s camp or Digvijaya Singh’s faction or Jyotiraditya Scindia’s group. I have only been a Congressman and therefore, facing all the problems,” he says.
Dang claims he expressed his feelings to all senior Congress leaders, including Nath, Digvijaya Singh and Scindia. “I am sorry to say that nobody heeded my grievances. Please accept my resignation. My struggle for farmers and development of my region will continue,” he wrote.
State Congress remained tight-lipped on the resignation. However, the Speaker said, “I have received news of the resignation by Suwasra MLA Hardeep Singh Dang. But he has not personally submitted it to me. When he meets me personally and submits the resignation, then I will take the necessary steps according to rules.”