Four BJP ministers resign in Punjab (Second Lead)May 13th, 2011 - 1:16 am ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, May 12 (IANS) Four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers in Punjab resigned Thursday over a corruption taint on the party’s state leadership. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal forwarded the resignations to Governor Shivraj Patil for acceptance.
A spokesperson of the state government said the swearing-in of new ministers will be held Sunday. In this regard, the government has also contacted Patil, who is in Jaipur as he also holds the additional charge of Rajasthan governor.
Besides the four ministers, two BJP chief parliamentary secretaries (CPSs) also submitted their resignations. Punjab has a Akali-Dal-BJP alliance government.
The ministers and CPSs gave their resignations to BJP senior vice president and state in-charge Shanta Kumar.
The ministers — Manoranjan Kalia (industries and local bodies), Swarna Ram (social welfare and justice), Tikshan Sood (forests and medical education) and Luxmi Kanta Chawla (health) — and CPSs — Arunesh Shakir and Sukhpal Singh Nannu — submitted their resignations after a day-long meeting at BJP’s Punjab headquarters here.
Fifth BJP minister Mohan Lal (transport) is also planning to submit his resignation. Party sources said he was away on some family engagement.
“Four BJP ministers and two CPSs have submitted their resignations to the chief minister. Going by the wishes of BJP high command, the chief minister has recommended the resignations of ministers to the governor for acceptance,” said the official spokesperson here Thursday night.
The chief minister has the power to accept the CPSs resignations on his own.
According to sources, the BJP central leadership had asked its ministers to resign.
Kalia and Swarna Ram were recently accused in a Rs.1.5 crore graft case. They were also interrogated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials over their alleged involvement in this case.
Besides, BJP CPS Raj Khurana was also arrested by CBI sleuths in the same case May 5. Khurana, who is currently under judicial remand, had submitted his resignation Sunday.
Kalia is one of the senior-most ministers in the Punjab cabinet after Chief Minister Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The Akali Dal-BJP government is in power since March 2007. The next assembly elections in the state are slated in February 2012.
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Tags: akali dal, alliance government, cbi officials, central bureau of investigation, central leadership, chief minister, family engagement, graft case, kanta, mohan lal, new ministers, parkash, parliamentary secretaries, resignations, senior vice president, shakir, shanta kumar, social welfare, sood, state leadership