M A I N   N E W S

Uma quits as MP CM
Hubli court rejects her petition

Bhopal, August 23
Ms Uma Bharati today resigned as the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister. She gave the resignation to Governor Bal Ram Jhakar.

Her successor, Mr Babulal Gaur, accompanied Ms Bharati when she met the Governor.

BJP Central observer Arun Jaitley, state BJP President Kailash Joshi and some other senior leaders also accompanied Ms Bharati to convey to the Governor the election of Gaur as leader of the legislature party to succeed her.

Earlier in the day, Ms Bharati had called a Cabinet meeting at her residence ahead of the BJP Legislature Party meeting to announce her resignation.

“Bharati did not want to remain the Chief Minister and had expressed her desire that her successor be administered the oath of office and secrecy immediately after she handed over her resignation to the Governor,” state Energy Minister Anup Mishra told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

Ms Bharati resigned in the wake of a non-bailable warrant issued against her in a rioting case by a Hubli court in connection with the unfurling of the National Flag at Idgah Maidan there on August 15, 1994.

Ms Uma Bharati would tomorrow surrender before a Hubli court, which issued a non-bailable warrant against her in a decade-old rioting case, if the police team from Karnataka does not arrive here to arrest her, BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley said.

“If the Karnataka police team does not reach here, Ms Bharati will catch a train to Hubli this evening to surrender”, Mr Jaitley told reporters here.

Ms Bharati declared a decisive battle against Congress President Sonia Gandhi for a ‘’dishonour to the Tricolour.’’ Addressing party workers at a meeting of the BJP Legislature Party here, she queried: “Is unfurling of the National Flag in the country considered a crime?’’ Karnataka Chief Minister Dharam Singh and Ms Sonia Gandhi had played a dubious role in this episode.

Ms Bharati said she would start her “Tiranga Yatra’’ from the ground at Hubli, Karnataka, named after Rani Chenamma of Kittur who had challenged British rule.

HUBLI: Ms Uma Bharati’s attempts to earn a reprieve from the court failed on Monday when her petition seeking quashing of charges against her in the Idgah Maidan case was rejected along with the Karnataka Government’s petition to reopen the case.

With this order, the Karnataka police is free to execute the non-bailable arrest warrant issued against Ms Bharati on August 3 in the case relating to violence that followed her attempt to hoist the National Flag at Idgah Maidan here in defiance of prohibitory orders on the Independence Day in 1994. Five persons were killed in police firing during the violence.

Rejecting the petitions of both sides, Additional District and Sessions Judge J.M.D. Cunha said Ms Bharati’s plea had been “time-barred” by laws of limitation by 697 days.

Ms Bharati’s lawyer, Mr V.G. Patil, said he would file an appeal before the High Court in Bangalore seeking quashing of the order of the Judicial Magistrate.

Meanwhile, a special team headed by Dharwad SP D. Roopa left on Monday morning by a flight for Bhopal to execute the arrest warrant against Ms Bharati. — Agencies



Babulal Gaur sworn in as CM

Bhopal, August 23
Mr Babulal Gaur, Home Minister in the Uma Bharati Government, was elected Leader of the BJP Legislature Party in place of Ms Bharati after daylong hectic activities today. He was sworn in as the Chief Minister by Governor Bal Ram Jakhar later in the evening.

Mr Gaur was elected unanimously at the party legislatures’ meeting at the BJP office. His name was proposed by Ms Bharati and seconded by Mr Kailash Vijayvargiya, PWD Minister in the Bharati Government. Former Union Law Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, was present as the central observer.

Born on June 2,1930, in Pratapgarh district of UP, Mr Gaur was first elected to the Assembly in a by-election in 1974 and has since been representing his Govindpura constituency in the Assembly without break. He held important portfolios in the Sunderlal Patwa Government (1990-1992) and was later the Leader of the Opposition also.

Both Mr Gaur and Ms Bharati belong to other backward classes.

Mr Babulal Gaur said he would make way for outgoing Chief Minister Uma Bharati if she was given a clean chit in the 1994 rioting case.

Asked if he would step down as the Chief Minister if the Hubli court gives Ms Bharati a clean chit, Mr Gaur told reporters that “to make way for Ms Uma Bharati, I can resign from any post.”



Cong: BJP politicising Uma’s resignation
Tribune News service

New Delhi, August 23
The Congress today accused the BJP of trying to give a “patriotic twist” to the case against Ms Uma Bharti, saying the they should “refrain from dragging the Tricolour into a political controversy.”

Party spokesman Anand Sharma said the BJP was trying to politicise the resignation of Uma Bharti as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in the wake of her being declared as a proclaimed offender by a Karnataka court.

Rejecting the contention that the issue was linked to the unfurling of Tricolour at Idgah in Hubli, he said the cases were related to the violation of curfew and subsequent riots in which five persons lost their lives.

He said the Karnataka Government had recommended withdrawal of cases but the sessions court did not allow withdrawal of two cases involving Uma Bharti.

Mr Sharma said the court issued non-bailable warrants against her 18 times. “Ms Bharti was chosen to head the government in Madhya Pradesh despite the fact known to BJP leadership that a non-bailable warrant was pending against her,” he said.

The party dismissed the BJP’s demand for removal of “tainted” ministers from the Manmohan Singh government, saying that the concerned ministers had been accused of certain offences which await judicial scrutiny. “Accused does not mean tainted. Till a verdict is pronounced, the presumption is that the accused is not guilty,” Mr Sharma said.

He said if all accused had to resign than distinction could not be made between the leaders of the BJP facing charges and those from other parties. Accusing the BJP of trying to present Ms Bharti as “a martyr persecuted for patriotic act,” he said the BJP should refrain from dragging Tricolour into a political controversy.

“The RSS-BJP cannot claim monopoly over patriotism. When Mahatma Gandhi was leading the freedom struggle, they were found absent. National flag was not hoisted for a long time at RSS headquarters at Nagpur,” Mr Sharma said.

He said the BJP had again obstructed proceedings in the Houses today. “It is once again evident that they do not want debate on issues that impact the masses,” he said.


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