AHMEDABAD: Gujarat state women's wing president Sonalben Patel stepped down today after the party nominated state spokesperson Amee Yajnik as one of the two candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.
Earlier, Patel had expressed her displeasure over Yajnik's name, saying the latter was not an active member of the party and that her selection was not justified.
Patel, who headed the women's wing for two terms, has sent her resignation to All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev, and requested that she be relieved from the post on "personal reasons".
"I would like to thank the Indian National Congress and its dynamic leadership for having given me an opportunity to serve the Congress party as the president of the Gujarat Pradesh Mahila Congress for two consecutive terms," Patel stated in her resignation letter.
She said some young talent could replace her.
"Due to personal reasons, I would like to be relieved of the responsibility as the GMCC president with immediate effect," stated Patel.
While Patel could not be contacted for a comment, party spokesperson Manish Doshi said Patel was not happy with the selection of Yajnik as a Rajya Sabha nominee.
"She had said Yajnik is not an active member of the Congress and is a parachute candidate," Doshi said, adding that Patel's allegation was baseless.
Yajnik, a lawyer cum rights activist, today filed her nomination papers for the March 23 polls, a day after the Congress announced her candidature along with veteran tribal leader and former MP Naran Rathwa.
A total of seven candidates--two from the Congress and three from the BJP--submitted their nominations on the last day of filing of papers today for the four seats falling vacant from Gujarat.
The BJP fielded Union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia, apart from former MLA Kiritsinh Rana.
Rest two candidates filed their nomination papers as Independent.
Tomorrow is the last date for scrutiny of nominations while March 15 is the last day for withdrawal of candidature.
In the 182-member House, the ruling BJP has 99 MLAs while the opposition Congress 77.
Both the parties are in a position to send two candidates each to the Rajya Sabha, as the minimum number of votes required per candidate is 38.