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Veteran leader SM Krishna quits Congress, party's state leadership 'surprised'

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Veteran leader SM Krishna quits Congress, partys state leadership surprised
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Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader SM Krishna has resigned from the primary membership of the party, sources close to him said on Saturday.

84-year old Krishna has written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi conveying his decision, the sources told PTI in Bengaluru.

Asked about it, the former Minister for External Affairs declined to react, saying, "tomorrow. tomorrow." He has called a press conference tomorrow, where he is expected to give details about his decision and his future plan of action.

Krishna, who was the state Chief Minister from 1999 to 2004 and a former Maharashtra Governor, is reportedly miffed at being sidelined in the party, with which he has more than five-decades-old association.

He had returned to the state in 2012 but had been maintaining a low profile in the last two years.

As the news broke out, apparently surprised state Congress leaders said they were not aware of the development and rushed to his residence to meet Krishna who was away at a function.

"I am not aware of it. If it is true, I can't even believe it. I do not want to react now," KPCC President and state Home Minister G Parameshwara told reporters.

"We had not sidelined him in any matter from any angle. He is one of the most likeable leaders of our party...the party had not sidelined him," he said.

State Congress Working President Dinesh Gundu Rao also said he had no information.

"Without officially knowing I can't react. "Krishna is a senior leader who has always played politics with dignity. He has always played positive politics," he said.

The development has hit the Karnataka Congress at a time when a section of partymen are unhappy over the style of functioning of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is also facing an aggressive BJP which is hoping to stage a comeback to power in the 2018 Assembly polls.

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