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Indian minister resigns over corruption charges

Indian minister resigns over corruption charges
India's Minister for Small, Micro and Medium Industries Virbhadra Singh Tuesday resigned from the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government over corruption charges.

The veteran Congress leader submitted his resignation to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a day after a court in the northern town of Shimla framed corruption charges against him.

"I decided to step down on moral grounds as I did not want to embarrass the party. I did not want my party, government and the prime minister to face any difficulties on my count," 78-year-old Singh told the media in the national capital, after submitting his resignation.

Singh, a former Chief Minister of the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, who was slapped with charges of conspiracy and corruption in a 23-year-old case by the court Monday, said that the graft charges were "concocted" and blamed the current Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal for the charges against him.

In fact, the case dates back to 1989, when he was chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. He was allegedly taped on the phone in a conversation with his wife and a senior bureaucrat, where all were allegedly discussing kickbacks from industrialists who wanted to set up shop in Himachal Pradesh.

Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh were booked by Himachal Pradesh Police on August 3, 2009, under the Prevention of Corruption Act for alleged misuse of official position and criminal misconduct when he was the chief minister in 1989. (Xinhua)
Source : Afghan Voice Agency (AVA), International Service
Tuesday 26 June 2012 13:58
Story Code: 43951 Copy text available
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