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BJP to launch stir for tainted ministers' ouster
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 23
Trapped in a web of its own making, the BJP parliamentary board today decided to make political capital out of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti’s resignation on the issue of non-bailable warrants against her by a Hubli court, declaring the launch of a nationwide agitation for the ouster of “tainted ministers” from Dr Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet.

“We will launch a countrywide agitation against the Congress’ immoral and mischievous political move and forcefully take up the removal of tainted ministers from the Centre,” BJP President M. Venkaiah Naidu told mediapersons after the meeting.

The parliamentary board, which comprises former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, among others, accepted Ms Bharti’s resignation offer to honour the “constitutional and democratic” conventions, Mr Naidu said.

Attacking the Congress for going back on its decision to withdraw the cases against agitationists wanting to hoist the National Flag at Kittur Rani Chennamma Maidan, ‘a public ground’ in Hubli, in 1994, Mr Naidu alleged that the Congress and the Karnataka Government had conspired to create the situation for arresting the Chief Minister of another state.

“The Congress has thrown a challenge to the nation by reviving a case sought to be withdrawn by the previous Congress regime. The Congress has also committed a grave sin of equating hoisting the National Flag with murder, dacoity, corruption, kidnapping and looting,” he said.

The BJP President said the Karnataka Government, the Central Government and the Congress were duty bound to explain their U-turn after filing a petition to withdraw the case because of restoration of calm and peace in the area.

Mr Naidu said the Congress had got into a similar situation, like the Shah Bano case, and warned that it would be very difficult to extricate itself from the self-created web.

The previous government, headed by Mr S.M. Krishna, had filed the petition in 2002, seeking to withdraw the cases, and pursued by the subsequent government led by Mr N. Dharam Singh. However, the state government suddenly decided on August 19 not to pursue the petition.

The Congress, he said, had done this to distract public attention from the embarrassment it was facing by having six tainted ministers in the Union Council of Ministers.

In a related development, NDA leaders, who met here to assess the situation arising out of Ms Uma Bharti’s resignation, decided to call a meeting of NDA MPs for tomorrow morning to decide on the strategy to be adopted in Parliament.

According to BJP parliamentary party spokesperson V.K. Malhotra, NDA leaders took serious exception to the Congress’ decision vis-a-vis Ms Uma Bharti and on the Veer Savarkar issue and agreed in principle to up the ante against the Congress.

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