Odisha legislator Jogesh Singh, who was suspended by the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) for anti-party activities on Thursday, has resigned from the party and stepped down from the membership of the Odisha Assembly.
The Sundergarh legislator's resignation came two days after Naba Kishore Das, legislator from Jharsuguda, quit the party. Mr Das has joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
Mr Singh, a two-time legislator, sent his resignation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is scheduled to visit the state on January 25.
"I tender my resignation from the Indian National Congress Party on moral grounds. I also tender my resignation from the post of the Member of Odisha Legislative Assembly," Mr Singh said in his letter.
Mr Singh was suspended for repeatedly giving statements against the party to the media, the OPCC said.
Questioning his suspension, Mr Singh added, "I could not find the answer that how praising the Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik, who is ranked as the best chief minister in India, become anti-party activity. I am quite astonished about the decision taken by the disciplinary committee of the Odisha Congress party without any show cause notice and explanation."
He added that he wasn't the first person to praise Mr Patnaik as several central ministers of the Congress praised him during the UPA government.
Mr Singh said he had expressed his inability to be part of the Congress president's meeting in the state capital on January 25, due to some pre-scheduled engagements. "How did it become anti-party activity, I don't understand," he said.
Ananta Sethi, OPCC disciplinary committee convener, however said he was not aware of Mr Singh's resignation, but claimed that it "won't impact the Congress party in any way".
Odisha will face simultaneous assembly and national elections in the next few months.
(With inputs from agencies)