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24 ministers ‘resign’ in Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal, August 22
Ahead of tomorrow’s crucial BJP Parliamentary Board meeting to decide the fate of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti, 24 ministers today resigned as a mark of solidarity with her.

The dramatic development came a day after Ms Bharti sent her resignation to BJP President Venkaiah Naidu in the wake of a Hubli court issuing a non-bailable warrant against her in a decade-old rioting case.

“Around 24 ministers have resigned and the rest have given their consent as a mark of solidarity to Umaji”, state Energy Minister Anup Mishra told PTI over the phone from Delhi.

Several ministers are out of the state capital and all 35 ministers would submit their papers to state unit President Kailash Joshi shortly, he said.

Mr Joshi, on the other hand, told PTI that none of the ministers had approached him nor he had received any resignation. “I have been hearing about these resignations, including that of mine. I believe it’s a prank and will find out the culprit shortly,” he said over the phone from Gwalior.

Among those who have submitted their resignation are Public Health Engineering Minister Sunil Naik, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Tribal Welfare Minister Om Prakash Dhure. Minister of State Karan Singh Verma (Panchayat), Narayan Singh Kushwaha (Social Welfare), Shivnarayan Jagirdar (Urban Administration and Development), Jagdish Devra (Home), Gopilal Jatav (Tribal and Schedule Castes Welfare) and Rajendra Shukla (Housing and Environment).

Ms Uma Bharti said in Indore that she would hand over her resignation to Governor Bal Ram Jhakar tomorrow. Ms Bharti said she spoke to the Leader of the Opposition, Mr L.K. Advani, today and requested him to elect a new leader in her place.

Alleging a conspiracy against her by the Congress in Karnataka, Ms Bharti said a police team from that state had already left for here to arrest her without waiting for the outcome of the hearing tomorrow in the case in a Hubli court.

“This proves that they are aware of the court judgement in advance and, therefore, left without waiting for the court order”, Ms Bharti alleged. — PTI
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Karnataka sends police team

Hubli, August 22
A Karnataka police team will head for Bhopal this evening to arrest Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti in connection with the Idgah Maidan rioting case.

The team, headed by the Dharwad SP, Mr D. Roopa, and comprising two Inspectors and a woman constable, would execute the non-bailable arrest warrant issued against the senior BJP leader by a Hubli court, Hubli police Commissioner K.V. Gagandeep told UNI here today. — UNI
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Warrant against minister

Jaipur, August 22
A Railway Court has issued a non-bailable warrant against Rajasthan Forest Minister Laxmi Narayan Dave in connection with a four-year-old case of alleged train stoppage and damaging rail property, a Government Railway Police (GRP) official said today. — PTI
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