Akali Dal leader resigns after conviction for graft (Lead)

May 4th, 2011 - 12:11 am ICT by IANS  

Shivraj Patil Chandigarh, May 3 (IANS) Punjab’s Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) for agriculture Sohan Singh Thandal Tuesday submitted his resignation from the post to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal following his conviction and sentencing in a corruption case.

A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the chief minister has forwarded the resignation to Governor Shivraj Patil for accepting it.

Thandal’s resignation came over 24 hours after he was Monday sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and fined Rs.25,000 by the additional district and session judge in Mohali, 10 km from here, for owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Punjab’s opposition Congress Tuesday asked for the immediate dismissal of Thandal following his sentencing.

Thandal, a sitting Akali Dal legislator from Mahilpur and a serving CPS in the government, is considered close to Badal.

Immediately after his sentencing, Thandal was given bail by the court. The court also gave him one month’s time to appeal against the verdict in a higher court.

A three-time legislator (1997, 2002 and 2007), Thandal was booked by the state vigilance bureau in January 2003 under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly accumulating assets disproportionate to his known sources of income during the Akali Dal government of 1997-2002.

Senior Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira had earlier demanded that Thandal be dismissed immediately from the Badal government.

He also said that Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal must suspend Thandal from the primary membership of the party “to set an example to cleanse public life”.

–Indo-Asian News service

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