Minister of State for Non-Resident Indian Affairs Jagdish Tytler, indicted by an inquiry commission for his role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, on Wednesday tendered his resignation from the Union council of ministers.
Tytler handed over the resignation to Congress President Sonia Gandhi following a 30-minute meeting.
Tytler was indicted in the Nanavati Commission report that enquired into the riots targeting Sikhs in the aftermath of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Tytler reportedly said he submitted the resignation to Sonia Gandhi instead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh because he saw her as his leader.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier on Wednesday has said in Parliament that the riots were a national shame.
Tytler said he resigned on his own and was not asked to resign, as some media reports claimed.
Speaking to newsmen at his residence in New Delhi, Tytler said: "The developments of the last two days have been embarrassing. I did not want to embarrass Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Hence I tendered my resignation on moral grounds. PM wants an investigation to be conducted in my case and hence it would not have been proper for me to continue as a minister," he said.
He denied the media reports that he had been asked to resign by the party and that he was being made a sacrificial goat.
"The Congress party stands for moral values. I have resigned while opposition leaders like Advani who have been charge-sheeted continued to be deputy prime minister and home minister during Vajpayee's term in office," Tytler told journalists while building up his defence.
Dr Singh has forwarded his resignation to President A P J Abdul Kalam.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan is to issue a communiqué to this effect later.