Ajay Maken steps down as Union minister

Ajay Maken tonight resigned as a Union minister ahead of the reshuffle of the Council of Ministers and that of the AICC expected next week.

Maken submitted his resignation as Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and has expressed his desire to work for the party, sources told PTI.

The 49-year-old leader was earlier Minister of State for Home Affairs and was later given independent charge of Sports and Youth Affairs.

Maken was elevated to the Cabinet rank in October last year.

Congress sources said that he could either be made Delhi Congress chief or an AICC General Secretary.

A senior Congress leader said he could even be made the Chief Minister of Delhi ahead of the assembly elections later this year.

Maken's possible elevation as Delhi PCC chief could lead to his indirect projection as the next Chief Minister of Delhi.

Incumbent Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has been at the helm of affairs for the past 15 years, setting a record of sorts in independent India for a woman to be chief minister for three consecutive terms.

Current Delhi PCC chief J P Agarwal is not on the best of terms with Dikshit.

Maken was a one-time protege of Dikshit but had later fallen apart.

Sometime back, there was talk of Dikshit being made a minister at the Centre.

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