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Murli Deora writes to Sonia, offers to resign

CNN-IBN
Jul 05, 2011 at 02:15pm IST

New Delhi: Even as the Congress deals with the Telangana crisis, the imminent Cabinet reshuffle is making some of its old-timers preempt their next move.

Sources have told CNN-IBN that Corporate Affairs Minister Murli Deora has written a letter to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi expressing his desire to quit his ministerial rank.

Sources say he was likely to have been dropped in the Cabinet reshuffle after the allegations that he played favourites as Petroleum minister.

"Due to personal reasons, I have offered to step down as minister from the Union Cabinet and offer my services for the Congress party, where my political career began. I thank the Congress President and Prime Minister for their continuous support and guidance," said a statement issued by Deora.

Sources have said that in his letter to Sonia, Deora has cited age as a criterion to quit.

However, Sonia Gandhi has asked Deora to hold on to the thought till the reshuffle takes place.

Deora's role had come under scanner in the CAG report on oil exploration scam.

Deora sought to dismiss reports that he has asked for his son Milind Deora's inclusion in the council of ministers.

"Yes, I have offered to Congress President Sonia Gandhi to step down from the Union Council of Ministers... Have not asked for anything more... It is not a sudden decision," Deora said.

"I have the satisfaction of completing a full five-year stint as Union Minister and so now I thought it will be appropriate to step down," he said without elaborating.

There is talk of a Cabinet reshuffle after President Pratibha Patil's return from her sojourn in Hyderabad on July 8.

Why is Deora in the line of fire

Deora's role in handing over the oil exploration contracts to private companies are under scanner.

Deora is accused of playing favourites with corporates.

Deora is keen that his son Milind be given a greater role.

Deora is close to Gandhi family, he likely to be given an organisational role.

(With additional information from PTI)

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