Congress veteran Sajjan Kumar has resigned from the primary membership of the party, citing his conviction in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, party sources said Tuesday.
In a letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Kumar, a former MP, said his resignation should be considered with immediate effect, the sources said.
The Delhi High Court Monday sentenced Kumar to imprisonment for life, the first conviction of a politician in the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 in which more than 2,700 people were killed.
"I tender my resignation with immediate effect from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress in the wake of the judgement of the honourable high court of Delhi against me," Kumar said in the letter to Gandhi on Monday.
An aide of Kumar said he did not want the party to face any embarrassment and decided to resign from Congress soon after the Delhi High Court pronounced its judgement in the case.
The aide also clarified that 73-year-old Kumar, a three-time MP, does not have a Twitter account and comments attributed to him in the social media platform were not made by him.
The case in which Kumar was convicted relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Raj Nagar part-I area in Palam Colony in South West Delhi on November 1-2, 1984 during the riots in the national capital and other parts of the country.
According to official accounts, 2,733 Sikhs were killed between November 1 and 4, 1984 following the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards on October 31.
Kumar is known to have a sizeable support base in Outer Delhi areas, including villages and slum clusters.