March 23, 2006 15:43 IST,
Sonia Gandhi, Congress president and chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance government has resigned as Member of Parliament from Rae Bareli.
She has also resigned as the chairperson of the National Advisory Council.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had petitioned the President earlier on Thursday, asking for her disqualification on the grounds that she holds this ‘office of profit’.
In a statement to announce her resignation, Sonia Gandhi said, "In the last few days some Opposition parties are trying to create an impression that the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance are using Parliament and the government only to protect me. This has hurt me very much."
"I have stated earlier also that I am in politics and public life not for my selfish ends," she said. "I have taken a pledge to serve the people of the country and to protect secular ideals. So, in keeping with my public life and political principles and according to my own belief, I resign as member of Lok Sabha and Chairperson of National Advisory Council. I have full faith that brothers and sisters of Rae Bareli and the whole nation will understand this feeling of mine."