JAIPUR: Amid speculation of a leadership change in Rajasthan, Congress leader Lal Chand Kataria has reportedly resigned as Agriculture Minister, citing the rout of the party in the Lok Sabha elections.
In a purported press release, Kataria said he had sent the resignation to the Governor through Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who came under attack from Congress President Rahul Gandhi after the Congress failed to win even one seat in Rajasthan.
Neither the Chief Minister's nor the Governor's office confirmed that Kataria had quit.
Kataria could not be reached on telephone to confirm if he had indeed resigned. Informed sources said he had left for Delhi and possibly to Europe on a holiday.
According to the "press release" which went viral on the social media, Kataria said he considered it morally inappropriate to continue as Minister after the party's defeat. "This resignation should not be connected to any other factor."
But he said he will remain a member of the Rajasthan Assembly and continue to articulate people's grievances.
Chief Minister Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minster Sachin Pilot and state Congress in-charge Avinash Pandey are likely to meet Rahul Gandhi in Delhi in the coming days.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had pointed fingers at three Chief Ministers including Gehlot, accusing them of putting their sons' interest above the party.
This sparked speculation of a leadership change in the state.