In a jolt to the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, former Union minister V Kishore Chandra Deo resigned from the primary membership of the party on Saturday. He tendered his resignation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi. According to sources, he said that the party is in “coma” in Andhra Pradesh and the party leadership lacks responsiveness. The veteran parliamentarian was the tribal face of the Congress from Andhra Pradesh.
“The Congress is extinct in Andhra Pradesh. It has gone down the hill. Party is in coma in Andhra Pradesh and there’s nothing that is being done or can be done to revive it,” said Deo as quoted by the Tribune. If reports are to be believed, the veteran Congressman is set to join N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telegu Desam Party (TDP). Deo contested for Araku Parliament Segment in the last elections on Congress Ticket but lost.
Deo was the Union Cabinet Minister for Tribal Affairs & Panchayati Raj from July 2011 to May 2014 in the UPA-II. Deo had also served as Central Minister in 1979-80, as Minister of State for Steel, Mines and Coal after his maiden election to the Lok Sabha in 1977. He was re-elected on four other occasions, besides being a member of the Rajya Sabha for one term. He headed the parliamentary investigation into the 2008 cash-for-votes scandal.
The veteran leader, however, clarified that he was only quitting the Congress and not politics. He said that his attempts to engage Rahul on affairs related to Andhra had failed. “Four people take decisions in the Congress and there’s no space for anyone else’s opinion,” Deo said. He also said that he would disclose his future course of action soon.