For his remark against Pratibha
Rajasthan Minister Ameen Khan, who has created a controversy by stating that Pratibha Patil was “rewarded” with the President post for her loyalty to the Gandhi family, has been asked to resign.
Sources said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asked the Minister of State for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj to put in his papers. Mr. Khan has since denied having made the remark.
The sources said Mr. Gehlot, who is in Delhi, discussed the issue with Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel and Union Minister Mukul Wasnik in charge of the party affairs in Rajasthan.
CM expresses regret
The Chief Minister is also understood to have talked to the President and expressed regret over the remarks made by Mr. Khan.
Addressing party workers in Pali district on Tuesday, Mr. Khan reportedly said Ms. Patil did not ask for any position but was made President for her loyalty to the Gandhi family. He also cited instances of her association with Indira Gandhi.
A section of the local media quoted Mr. Khan as having said that Ms. Patil was so dedicated that “she used to make tea and cook food at Indira Gandhi's residence” and because of her honesty, devotion and loyalty, she was now President.
However, on Wednesday, he said:
“I just gave an example of loyalty and did not intend to make any comment on the President. I said that she was a committed and simple worker.
“After observing resentment among the party workers over not getting organisational posts, I said that party workers should be loyal to their leader as well as the party.
“She [Ms. Patil] was loyal to the Gandhi-Nehru family and the Congress and served with dedication and commitment even in the days when Indira Gandhi was not in power.”