Thursday, February 1, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Minister quits over views on quake

BANGALORE, Jan 31 (PTI) — Karnataka Minister T John resigned today in the wake of a controversy over his remarks linking the Gujarat earthquake to attacks on Christians in that state, embarrassing the S M Krishna-led congress government.

Mr John, in charge of the infrastructure and civil aviation department, quit after a long meeting with Mr Krishna and his senior ministerial colleagues, as the issue threatened to snowball into a major political row and his continuance appeared untenable.

Mr John, whose remarks that the earthquake was “God’s way of reacting to attacks on Christians” put him in the dock, announced his decision to reporters saying, “I have resigned to avoid embarrassment to Mr Krishna and his government and to the Congress, which believes in secular principles.”

Mr John declined to say whether he quit on his own volition or was asked by Mr Krishna to do so, but sources said that the chief minister and his senior ministerial colleagues convinced him that his continuance as a minister had become untenable.

As the BJP reacted angrily, demanding sacking of the minister and threatening to hold a state-wide protest, Mr Krishna and his senior ministers watched the video footage of a television channel containing Mr John’s controversial remarks made at a function organised by a Christian organisation here yesterday.

Earlier, after attacking Mr John at a news conference, demanding his arrest for allegedly ‘promoting ill-will between two communities’, BJP leaders went in a delegation and met Mr Krishna, who assured them that he would seek an explanation from the minister regarding the context in which he made the remarks.

At the end of a long meeting, Mr John, looking downcast, emerged to read out a brief statement announcing his resignation, saying that he had not made the utterances deliberately and expressing regrets over it.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |