Orissa minister resigns over sex scandal

December 10th, 2008 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhubaneswar, Dec 10 (IANS) Orissa Minister Manmohan Samal, who was under pressure to quit over his alleged involvement in a sex scandal, Wednesday submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, but maintained that he was innocent.”I resigned to save the image of my party that has been tarnished by some people. The allegations against me are baseless and not true,” Samal, who was the state revenue minister, told reporters after he submitted his resignation.

A section of the local media last month reported that Samal, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, was involved in an affair with a woman from his constituency and had spent a night with her recently in Delhi.

Although Samal termed the allegation as baseless, he, however, in a statement admitted that he had met a woman from his constituency during his stay at the Orissa Bhavan in Delhi in November.

He also said that he had helped arrange the stay of the woman in the Orissa Bhavan because he considered it his duty as a public representative.

But members of the Congress, the main opposition party in the state, alleged that the minister was involved in an extra-marital affair with the woman.

Samal was facing the heat not only from the opposition parties, but also from some of his party colleagues, who were demanding his resignation on the ground that the party’s image was important.

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