Joginder Mann alleged that 'opportunist leaders' have lately joined the Congress party for the sake of their vested interests, and the party had drifted from its core values.
New Delhi: Once described as the 'SC face of Punjab Congress', former state minister Joginder Singh Mann on Friday, Jan 14, announced the culmination of his five-decade-old ties with the Congress party. He also resigned as Chairman of the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation. He was given cabinet rank.
Mann, a Valmiki Madhvi Sikh, has not divulged his future political plans.
In an emotional letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, the three-time MLA from Phagwara, said, "I had the dream that when I would die the Congress tri-colour would be wrapped around my body, but with the Congress patronising those guilty of a post-matric scholarship scam, my conscience doesn't allow me to stay."
Mann has earlier served as a minister in the cabinets of Beant Singh, H S Brar, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Capt Amarinder Singh, who has lately quit Congress and floated regional outfit Punjab Lok Congress. The BJP has got into an alliance with the Punjab Lok Congress of Amarinder Singh.
Mann is also a relative of a former union minister and ex-Bihar Governor Buta Singh. He has alleged that 'opportunist leaders' have lately joined the Congress party for the sake of their vested interests, and the party had drifted from its core values. He also flagged the issue of hundreds of SC students who did not get scholarships in Punjab.
The caste equations are slowly coming to the fore in Punjab elections as well. By appointing Charanjit Singh Channi as the Chief Minister, the Congress party had sought to woo the Dalit community that Mann's resignation would only make things more complex. Dalits account for about one-third of Punjab's electorate. The other dominant caste group is Jat Sikhs.