Former union minister of state for rural development Agatha K Sangma of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) yesterday expressed her discontent with the manner in which she was “dropped” from the council of ministers, ahead of the Sunday reshuffle.
On Saturday evening, a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan stated that President Pranab Mukherjee had accepted the resignation of seven union ministers, including Agatha Sangma, based on the advice of PM Manmohan Singh.
Agatha said, “It is very inappropriate that they submitted a resignation letter which was for a different purpose. I feel they should not have done it.”
During the peak of the crisis, Agatha, the youngest daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma was also asked by Sharad Pawar to skip office.
However, NCP general secretary DP Tripathi said that Agatha was dropped from the post of union minister of state for rural development due to her “anti-party” activities.
“She has been dropped from the ministry for going against the party in the presidential elections and other anti-party activities,” said Tripathi over the phone.
He also said that Agatha’s absence from the party’s national convention held on October 10 was another reason, which virtually illustrated her anti-party activities.
On the other hand, the Tura parliamentarian from Meghalaya said that by being out of the government, an opportunity to serve the people better has opened for her. “I gracefully accept (being dropped from the union council of ministers), but there is also a brighter side to it. As a parliamentarian, I now have other bigger opportunities,” she said.
Asked if NCP MP Supriya Sule should have been inducted in her place rather than Tariq Anwar, she said. “It would be unwise to have a father and daughter in the same cabinet and Anwar, who is a senior NCP leader, deserved to be in the ministry.”
At the same time, she lamented that Anwar was not made a union minister of state with independent charge despite being a senior leader in the NCP. “Anwar is a senior NCP leader and I think he should have been given Independent charge,” she said.