Ranchi, Sept. 19: Beleaguered Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board’s (JSPCB) chairman Mani Shankar is said to have given in under the mounting pressure and put in his resignation letter on Thursday, a day before September 20 deadline set by the Congress leadership.
Party sources said he had expressed his wish to step down from the post “on personal grounds”. His resignation reached the state Congress headquarters in Ranchi this afternoon. Shankar is willing to serve the party.
However, on being asked, Shankar neither confirmed nor denied it. “I have given teeth to JSPCB in the last six months. Whether I continue or leave, I have left it to Lord Bholenath,” Shankar told The Telegraph.
State Congress chief Sukhdeo Bhagat, too, refused to comment, saying, “it’s an internal matter”. As such, Shankar’s resignation has been kept as a “close affair” in view of the central leadership’s strict “no” to any media statement on the issue.
Last Saturday, the state leadership asked Shankar to quit as the chief of the pollution board. Yesterday, on his return to Ranchi after a futile attempt to plead his case with the party high command in Delhi, Shankar spoke to chief minister Hemant Soren in a last-ditch effort to stay on.
He is said to have requested Hemant to let him stay till the the government found a man to replace him. But, the chief minister’s cold response dashed his last hopes.
According to the Congress insiders, Shankar in his resignation letter has sought a week time because he wants to chair an important meeting of JSPCB scheduled on September 26.